Atherosclerosis, a degenerative arterial disease, is a leading cause of death in the western society. It cau cause dysfunction of the heart, stroke or peripheral vascular disease by limiting the blood supply to the heart, the brain, the abdominal organs and the legs. The narrowing of those arteries originates from the build up of 'afherosclerotic' plaques in the arterial wall. Such plaques are the result of accumulating lipids and accompanying reactive processes into the vessel wall. Several risk factors are known to induce and innuence the progression of this disease like hypercholesteremia (Anderson et al., 1987; Davis et al., 1990), diabetes mellitus (Fontbonne et al., 1989), high blood pressure (Jackson et al., 1993; Kannel and Higgins, 1990) and smoking (Kannel and Higgins, 1990). Although these risk factors are systemic in nature, several studies showed that atherosclerotic plaques are not randomly distributed, but occur with preference to specific locations in fhe arterial tree. Similarly, after treatment of these narrowings, it seems fhat highly localized factors are involved in the healing process. The local nature of atherosclerosis and healing after treatment and their relation with biophysical factors, particularly shear stress, is the main subject of this thesis. Before going further into the detail of the locations of these lesions, first a brief overview is given of fhe process of atherosclerosis and restenosis.

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N. Bom (Klaas)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands, Netherlands Heart Foundation, Boston Scientific
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wentzel, J.J. (2000, January 19). Shear stress and the vessel wall : in vivo studies applying 3-D finite element modelling. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from