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How does atherosclerosis develop? watch
- Thread Starter
- 13-03-2016 13:43
- Official Rep
- 15-03-2016 15:03
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- 15-03-2016 16:22
Atherosclerosis develops as a result of a fatty deposit, known as a plaque, building up in the arterial wall.
You carry "bad" cholesterol, which is just cholesterol with a low-density lipoprotein (LDL). If you have a high blood pressure or damaged endothelium layer from smoking, it allows the LDLs to pass into the arterial wall. In fact, sometimes the cholesterol releases LDLs causing them to leak into the arterial wall and damage the endothelial layer of cells (which causes more LDLs to pass through, resulting in this horrible positive feedback loop)
In the arterial wall, the build up of LDLs triggers white blood cells, specifically macrophages to engulf the LDLs and digest them. This turns them into foam cells, (because the resulting cell looks 'foamy'). Further, when foam cells die, they release the LDLs and organelles, triggering more macrophages to come (another horrible positive feedback loop)
Over a long period of time, the accumulation of foam cells, LDLs, cell debris all calcifies and forms an atheroma, or plaque.