The Pathophysiology Of Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis Essay

9696 Words Jun 19th, 2015 39 Pages

1. Discuss the pathophysiology of coronary artery atherosclerosis. Include discussion of risk factors associated with the development of this disease. (10 points)

Coronary artery atherosclerosis is most commonly comprised of atherosclerotic fibrous fatty obstructions of the large epicardial vessels, which provide for blood flow and transport nutrients, oxygen, and elimination of metabolic waste products such as CO2, lactic acid, and hydrogen ions. Coronary artery atherosclerosis is a progressive disease related to and accumulating atheroma (fibrous fatty plaque), which damage the supporting vessels of the heart and eventually progress to cardiac complications such as angina pectoris, MI, heart failure, and extracardiac complications. As the name displays, atherosclerosis is the major cause of coronary artery atherosclerosis, and likewise, is the most common cause of reduced coronary blood flow. The accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque initiates when there is an injury to the endothelial layer of an artery resulting in LDL cholesterol movement into the subendothelial space of the artery and oxidation. Potential causes for injury of the arterial endothelium include hyperlipidemia, excessive arterial pressures produced by hypertension, toxins from cigarette smoke, infectious agents, and inflammation. Once endothelial damage occurs, an inflammatory response is generated signaling monocytes to migrate into the subendothelial space where they differentiate into…

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