Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis - B. Pharma 2nd Semester Pathophysiology notes pdf

Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis


       Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis

       Risk factors




At the end of this PDF Notes, student will be able to

       Define Atherosclerosis

       Identify the risk factors for atherosclerosis

       Describe the symptoms of atherosclerosis

       Explain the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis

       Explain arteriosclerosis

       Difference between arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis

       Describe the causes of it

       Briefly explain the risk factors

       Describe the treatment of it


       Atherosclerosis or atheroma

       Patchy focal disease of arterial wall

       Patchy thickening of the intimal layer of arterial wall

       Due to lipid deposition or fibrosis tissue formation

Major risk factors of Atherosclerosis


       Family history & genetics

       Racial risk – whites are at greater risk than blacks

       Excess lipid deposition



       Diabetes mellitus

Minor risk factors of Atherosclerosis


       Lack of exercise

       Sedentary life style

       Use of oral contraceptives

       Alcohol consumption

       Stressful life

       Dietary factors

       Viral infection

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis

Symptoms vary depending on the organ involved


      Restricted blood supply to heart

      Angina & Myocardial infarction

      Shortness of breath






      Narrowing of arteries supplying brain

      Causes ischemic attacks

      Head ache

      Paralysis of one side of the body

      Numbness in various parts

      Visual disturbance



      Dull pain is felt in the abdomen

      Due to blockage of arteries supplying intestine





      Narrowing of artery supplying leg

      Pain in the leg

      Hair loss in leg

Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis

Endothelial injury

       Atherosclerosis is initiated by injury of endothelium

       In large & medium size arteries

       Causes include smoking


       Chronic hyperlipidemia

Internal smooth muscle cell proliferation

       Subsequent to endothelial injury

       Following disruption of endothelial layer

       Smooth muscle cell of blood vessels

       Cells of endothelium

       Proliferate under influence of – PGDF, EDGF, TGF β

       More synthesis of matrix protein

Lipoprotein entry into intima

       LDL from blood enters intima & get oxidized

       Oxidized LDL attracts monocytes

       Activates monocytes to macrophages

       Combination of oxidized LDL & macrophages  - Lipid laden foam cells

       Major factor contributing to plaque formation

Mechanism involved in the formation of Foam cells


       Atherosclerosis or atheroma is a patchy focal disease of arterial wall

       Patchy thickening of the intimal layer of arterial wall due to lipid deposition or fibrosis tissue formation

       The main mechanism involved in the development of atheroma  is endothelial injury

       Endothelial injury is followed by proliferation and formation of foam cells


       Arteriosclerosis refers to the thickening and hardening of the medium or large arteries.

        Atherosclerosis is a form of arteriosclerosis in which cholesterol deposits line the inner wall of the artery.

       Arteriosclerotic plaque is a build-up of calcium on the inside of the artery walls. Both terms tend to be used interchangeably to describe the clogging and hardening of the arteries.

       Arteriosclerosis occurs either as a result of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or both.

       High blood pressure can cause the arteries to become stiff and thick, which restricts blood flow throughout the body.

        High cholesterol can cause an excessive build-up of plaque inside the arteries that significantly restrict blood flow.

       Arteriosclerosis most commonly occurs in the arteries of the heart, but it can affect any arteries within the body.

Factors that causes arteriosclerosis

Risk factors of Arteriosclerosis





        diet high in saturated fat & low in healthy fruits, vegetables

Treatment of Arteriosclerosis

       Lifestyle Modifications-In the early stages of arteriosclerosis, lifestyle modifications include eating a diet low in cholesterol and salt.

       A healthy diet, along with getting regular exercise, might help slow and possibly even stop the progression of the disease.

        smokers should stop in order to prevent further artery damage.

        Medications-Medications, including those for blood pressure and high cholesterol, may be used to control conditions that have contributed to the development of arteriosclerosis.

       aspirin and anticoagulants 

       Bypass Surgery-using a blood vessel from another part of the body or a synthetic tube to completely bypass the damaged artery.

Signs of Arteriosclerosis

       A decreased pulse in a narrowed artery

        Decreased blood pressure in a limb

        A bulge in the abdomen or behind the knee

       High blood pressure

        Kidney infection

       Shortness of breath


       Neurological Symptom-Arteriosclerosis may affect the arteries that supply the brain.


       Arteriosclerosis refers to the thickening and hardening of the medium or large arteries

       artery walls become calcified or hardened which results in a loss of flexibility and elasticity

       Arteriosclerosis is a disease process that occurs gradually over time, and although the hardening of the heart’s arteries receives most attention, arteriosclerosis can happen anywhere along the miles of these blood vessels in your body

       Avoid smoking as this can increase the risk of complications such as stroke and heart attack

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