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Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis

Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis 

Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis:

Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis – It is a disease in which plaque build up inside arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carries oxygen-rich blood to the the heart and other parts of the body. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substance found in the blood plasma. The Plaque hardens and now narrows arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organ and to different part of the body.

Arteries are blood vessels that carries Oxygen and nutrition from heart to the rest of the body. Healthy arteries are fixable, strong and elastic. With the age and pressure in the arteries, the walls of arteries become thick and stiff and sometime restrict the blood flow to the various organs and tissues this process is called “Arthrosclerosis” are hardening of arteries.

Although atherosclerosis is often considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in the body. For example: when artery supplying blood to the arms and legs are affected will lead to the peripheral arterial disease. When artery supplying to the heart is affected it will lead to the coronary artery disease, chest pain(angina) or a heart attack. When artery supply blood to the brain are affected it will lead to the ischemia attack or Stroke.


Arteriosclerosis develops gradually. There are usually no signs are symptoms untill an artery got narrowed or clogged and cannot supply adequate amount of blood to the organs are tissues. Sometimes the blood clot completely and abstract the blood flow.

The exact cause is not known, it may start with the damage or injury to the inner layer of artery. The damage caused by many factors which includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol,an an irritants such as nicotine, certain diseases like diabetes.

Once the inner wall of the artery is damaged, the platelates often stick on the site of injury in order to repair the artery with the passage of time fatty deposit made of cholesterol and other waste products got accumulated and harden site of injury and does narrow of the space in arteries and obstruct the flow.

The signs and symptoms will arise depending upon which artery are affected. For example: The artery in arms and legs have an obstruction the supply be effected it cause peripheral artery disease and erectile dysfunction in in mens. If obstruction of blood flow in the carotid artery in the neck may cause symptoms of stroke such as weakness and dizziness.

Pathophysiology of atherosclerosis:

Atherosclerotic diseases such has hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, high blood fibrinogen, smoking and diabetes. Among these high cholesterol (specifically LDL and VLDL cholesterol) is more significant.

High levels of serum low density lipids (LDL) and very low density lipids (VLDL) cholesterol infiltrates the intima at the faster rate than it can appropriately eliminated lead excess avilability. LDL cholesterol in the intima is oxidized non-enzymatically to form Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) which cause the release of bioactive phospholipids which activates the endothelial cells.

Activated endothelial cell express leukocyte adhesion molecule that cause leukocytes stick and invade intima as well as cause the addition of platelets.

The infiltration of leukocytes into the intima marks the first step of pathophysiology of atherosclerosis within the intima monocytes differentiate into macrophages which then uptake large amount of lipids to form form cell in the the artery wall.

The immune system is also activated locally, causing inflammation of artery wall these changes have a variety of negative effects such as the ability of blood vessel to regulate its tone decreases, inflammation increases, the blood vessels will become more prone to thrombosis (clotting) and repair of endothelium is inhibited the changes lead to atherosclerosis.

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