Atheroma

In pathology, an atheroma is an accumulation and swelling in artery walls made up of (mostly) macrophage cells, or debris, and containing lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids), calcium and a variable amount of fibrous connective tissue. Atheroma occurs in atherosclerosis, which is one of the three subtypes of arteriosclerosis (which are atherosclerosis, Monckeberg's arteriosclerosis and arteriolosclerosis).

In the context of heart or artery matters, atheromata are commonly referred to as atheromatous plaques. It is an unhealthy condition, but is found in most humans.

These anatomic lesions usually begin in some children younger than age one year and all children older than age 10 regardless of geography, race, sex, or environment. Veins do not develop atheromata, unless surgically moved to function as an artery, as in bypass surgery. The accumulation (swelling) is always between the endothelium lining and the smooth muscle wall central region (media) of the arterial tube (see IMT). While the early stages, based on gross appearance, have traditionally been termed fatty streaks by pathologists, they are not composed of fat cells, i.e. adipose cells, but of accumulations of white blood cells, especially macrophages, that have taken up oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL). After they accumulate large amounts of cytoplasmic membranes (with associated high cholesterol content) they are called foam cells. When foam cells die, their contents are released, which attracts more macrophages and creates an extracellular lipid core near the center to inner surface of each atherosclerotic plaque. Conversely, the outer, older portions of the plaque become more calcific, less metabolically active and more physically stiff over time.

Read more about AtheromaDifficulty of Tracking and Researching Atheroma, History of Research, Artery and Atheroma Behavior, IMT Measurements in The Carotid Artery, Evolution of Strategies and Changing Focus, Diagnosis, Classification, Treatment

Other articles related to "atheroma, atheromas":

Lacunar Stroke - Pathophysiology
... Occasionally, atheroma in the parent artery blocks the orifice of the penetrating artery (luminal atheroma), or atheroma involves the origin of the penetrating artery (junctional atheroma) ...
Artery - Pathology - Atheroma
... An atheroma or plaque in the artery wall is a build up of cell debris, that contain lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids), calcium and a variable amount of fibrous connective tissue ...
Vulnerable Plaque
... mechanical stress zone on the fibrous cap of the atheroma, making it prone to rupture ... Generally an atheroma becomes vulnerable if it grows more rapidly and has a thin cover separating it from the bloodstream inside the arterial lumen ... Repeated atheroma rupture and healing is one of the mechanisms, perhaps the dominant one, which creates artery stenosis ...
Atherosclerosis - Pathophysiology - Rupture and Stenosis
... decades, it usually remains asymptomatic until an atheroma ulcerates, which leads to immediate blood clotting at the site of atheroma ulcer ... is a sudden event that occurs specifically in atheromas with thinner/weaker fibrous caps that have become "unstable" ... If the fibrous cap separating a soft atheroma from the bloodstream within the artery ruptures, tissue fragments are exposed and released ...
Atheroma - Treatment
... Many approaches have been promoted as methods to reduce atheroma progression reducing or eliminating one's consumption of foods which contain saturated fat and LDL cholesterol found in ...