Atherosclerosis

Share on :
Atherosclerosis is a general term for several diseases in which the arterial wall becomes thicker and less flexible. The disease is the most important and most common is atherosclerosis, in which fatty material collects under the inner layer of the artery wall.

Atherosclerosis can occur in arteries in the brain, heart, kidneys, other vital organs and the arms and legs. When atherosclerosis occurs in the arteries leading to the brain (carotid arteries), then it could be a stroke. If it occurs in the arteries leading to the heart (coronary arteries), heart attack can occur.

Atherosclerosis begins when white blood cells called monocytes, move from the bloodstream into the arterial wall and transformed into cells that collect fatty materials. In time, monocytes were filled fat will accumulate, causing patches of thickening in the lining of the arteries.

Each area of ​​thickening (called atherosclerotic plaque or atheroma) are filled with soft materials such as cheese, contains a number of fatty material, especially cholesterol, smooth muscle cells and connective tissue cells. Atheroma in the arteries can be dispersed medium and large arteries, but usually they are formed in regions of branching, possibly due to turbulence in this region causes injury to the arterial wall, so here is more easily formed atheroma.

Affected artery atherosclerosis, will lose its flexibility and because atheroma continues to grow, it will be narrowed arteries. Long atheroma accumulate calcium deposits, making it brittle and breakable. Blood can enter into a ruptured atheroma, so atheroma becomes larger and narrow the arteries. Atheroma which rupture could also shed fat content and trigger the formation of a blood clot (thrombus). Furthermore, the clot will narrow even clog arteries, or the clot is released and flow with the bloodstream and cause blockages elsewhere (embolism).

Increased risk of atherosclerosis:
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Smoker
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight (obesity)
  • Lazy exercise
  • Elderly.

Men have a higher risk than women. Patients with hereditary disease homocystinuria have widespread atheroma, especially at a young age. This disease of the arteries but not necessarily a lot of the coronary arteries (the arteries leading to the heart). In contrast, the familia hypercholesterolemia hereditary diseases, high cholesterol levels cause the formation of atheroma were more in the coronary arteries than other arteries.

Before the sudden narrowing or blockage of the arteries, atherosclerosis usually does not cause symptoms. Symptoms depend on the location of the establishment, so that could be a symptom of heart, brain, legs or elsewhere. If atherosclerosis causes a narrowing of the arteries that is very heavy, the body parts in perdarahi will not get adequate amounts of blood, which carries oxygen to the tissues.

Early symptoms of hardening of the arteries can be a pain or cramping that occurs when blood flow can not meet the need for oxygen. For example, during exercise, a person can experience chest pain (angina) due to the flow of oxygen to the heart is reduced, or when walking, someone felt cramps in legs (claudication interminten) because the flow of oxygen to the legs is reduced.

Typical is that these symptoms arise gradually, in line with the narrowing of the arteries by atheroma that also takes place slowly. But if the blockage occurs suddenly (for example, if a clot clogs an artery), the symptoms will arise suddenly.

Popular Post