Atherosclerosis

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Atherosclerosis is defined as "thickening and loss of elasticity of the walls of medium and large muscular arteries with lesions in the innermost layer of the artery ( arterial intima). This disease process of atherogenesis includes the retention of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins and their binding to proteoglycans in the arterial intima, generation of proinflammatory molecules that recruit macrophages to the subendothelial space, formation of foam cells, and eventual calcification of the arterial wall. these arterial plaques (atheromas) contain carbohydrates; blood; and calcium."[1]

Pathophysiology

Inflammation

Epidemiologic studies suggest the role of inflammation as atherosclerotic events are more common after recent infections.[2] Atherosclerosis may be associated with periodontal disease.[3] Inflammation may be measured by the c-reactive protein.

Complications

Common complications include coronary heart disease (including myocardial infarction and angina) and cerebrovascular disease (including and stroke and transient ischemic attack).

References

  1. National Library of Medicine. Atherosclerosis. Retrieved on 2007-12-06.
  2. Tim C. Clayton, Mary Thompson, and Tom W. Meade, “Recent respiratory infection and risk of cardiovascular disease: case-control study through a general practice database,” Eur Heart J (December 6, 2007), http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/ehm516v1 (accessed December 6, 2007).
  3. Humphrey LL, Fu R, Buckley DI, Freeman M, Helfand M (December 2008). "Periodontal disease and coronary heart disease incidence: a systematic review and meta-analysis". J Gen Intern Med 23 (12): 2079–86. DOI:10.1007/s11606-008-0787-6. PMID 18807098. Research Blogging.