With aging all tissues are subjected to degenerative processes. For the vascular bed this process is called atherosclerosis and involves thickening and induration of one or more layers of the vessel wall, of mainly the arteries. Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries starts at a young age, but remains symptomless for many years. During this period atherosclerotic lesions mature from fatty streaks to fibrous lesions and lipid laden plaques with calcifications and ulceration ofthe endothelial surface. This maturing process is accompanied by a narrowing or stenosis of the diseased coronary atieries. Eventually, the stenosis may become severe and restrict blood flow to the distribution territory of the diseased coronary artery.

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P.D. Verdouw (Pieter) , J.M.J. Lamers (Jos)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Netherlands Heart Foundatin, NWO
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Soei, L.K. (1996, April 10). Therapeutical modulation of cardiovascular disease. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/22437