Atherosclerosis is a disease that manifests itself in thickening aretrial wall due to fatty plaques.
Shimon Maimon, MD – Head of the Department of mini-invasive neuroradiology, Sourasky Medical Center. Practice at Assuta Medical Center. Leading Israeli expert in vascular neurosurgery and radiology.
Alexander Belenky, MD – Head of the Radiology, Neurovascular surgery Department of Beilinson (Rabin Hospital).
Atherosclerosis is a gradual blockage of the arteries due to the accumulation of components of the fatty substance and white blood cells at the inner layer of the arterial wall, due to which develops an inflammatory reaction, which affects the artery wall. Affecting arteries atherosclerosis may also cause damage to organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, limbs and other. Plaques can rupture the artery wall and blocking other tissues. This disease is the leading cause of death in Western countries, more than any other causes of death combined.
The process of plaque formation is chronic and asymptomatic can begin at an early age and continue to block the artery at an advanced stage.
Symptoms can appear later when the blockage level is about 90%. The main symptom is pain or cramping because of the lack of oxygen needed by the organ.
Atherosclerosis can occur almost anywhere in the body. Taken to distinguish between coronary atherosclerosis and peripheral atherosclerosis.
Coronary artery atherosclerosis affects the heart muscle itself and can cause angina and myocardial infarction.
Peripheral arterial disease can affect any of the arteries – the aorta, arteries, the arteries of the brain and eyes veins. In such cases atherosclerosis causing difficulties in walking (limb arterial obstruction), blurred vision (eye occlusion of the arteries) and so on. In severe cases, a stroke can occur in atherosclerosis of the brain, as well as develop necrosis in organs such as the intestines, spleen, liver, stomach, legs.
These processes results in the development of plaque, which leads to occlusion of arteries and reducing the oxygen supply to the muscles and tissues. As a result, a plaque may become unstable, its parts may break off and flow with the blood to reach the coronary arteries, which leads to blocking and thus myocardial infarction.
Multiple atherosclerosis leads to such consequences as:
– Myocardial infarction – a heart attack
– Cerebral infarction (when atherosclerosis develops in the arteries of the brain)
– Scars feet (with peripheral arterial disease)
– Aneurysms (aortic aneurysm is the most common)
There are several known risk factors that may affect the progression of the disease. These risk factors are called catalysts sclerotic processes.
A diet high in trans fats, smoking (increases the production of free radicals in the body and the amount of chemicals in the blood. Chemical free radicals are highly reactive molecules, they can participate in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the blood), obesity, lack of exercise, latent diabetes and diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heredity, other factors, such as excess calcium, chronic renal failure.
Diagnosis of atherosclerosis
Coronary angiography, the test load, echocardiography, Holter monitoring, ECG, heart scintigraphy (isotopic study), CT, MRI angiography.
Treatment of Atherosclerosis
Treatment usually begins by drugs.
In the case of complete blocking of the arteries can be performed minimally invasive coronary angiography, stenting or coronary bypass surgery.
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