CDC/Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.

Atherosclerosis is a response or result of damage to arterial blood vessels.

Often causes inflammation and the increase amount of proteins, macrophages, and other elements

Is the result of hardening in the arteries and is typically caused by a build up of fatty molecules such as cholesterol.

Somewhat more specific then the general term of arteriosclerosis.

When considered – atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis.

This reaction causing the hardening of the arteries occurs in almost all arteries from a young age.


1.)   Atheromatous plaques

         -    Wwelling of artery wall
         -    Not typically seen in veins
         -    Can be made up of: macrophage cells, lipids, cholesterol, and other tissue or debris
         -    Can lead to closure of artery

Three main components of Atheromatous plaques

    .   Atheroma
    .   Cholesterol Crystals
    .   Calcification

2.)   Aneurysm

3.)   Hypertension

4.)   Myocardial Infarction

5.)   Stroke


   -    LDL   [low-density lipoprotein molecules]
   -    LDL comes in contact with artery wall and a reaction occurs
   -    Immune response of macrophages and T-lymphocytes occurs
   -    Artery becomes inflammed
   -    A hard cover s placed over inflammed area


   -    Typically no symptoms are seen
   -    Heart attack may be first symptom – seen in almost 65% of men and less then 50% of women
   -    Shortness of breath
   -    Fatigue
   -    Chest pressure
   -    Chest pain
   -    others

Treatment options:

1.)  Quit smoking

2.)  Regular exercise

3.)  Medications
.          Statins
.          Niacin

4.)   Surgery
     -   Angioplasty
     -   Bypass surgery
     -   Stent placement

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