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- a focal thickening of the Tunica Intima only (endocardium)
- end up getting accumulations of the ECM + macrophages that have accumulated lots of lipid from cholesterol deposits
- may also have SM muscle cells that will proliferate in this area (some of which also have lipid inside of them)
- cholesterol deposits themselves are also found
- a problem for the coronary arteries in particular, but can affect all arteries
Complications of Atherosclerosis
- 1. myocardial infarct (occlusion might block downstream blood flow → necrosis, scar tissue replacement)
- 2. angina
- 3. conductive anomalies (eg. arrhythmias due to death of Purkinje Fibers)
What happens after cardiac myocyte death (perhaps due to infarct)?
- ischemic events that kill cardiac myocytes results in replacement of myocytes with fibrous CT
- cardiac muscle cells (myocardium) don’t regenerate easily; it’s hard to replace cardiac muscle
- analogous to blind-ending capillaries
- lined just by endothelial cells - look like capillaries but are just wider in diameter
- excessive amounts of fluid leaks out into connective tissue from post-capillary venules
- have lymphatics throughout the body that picks up interstitial fluid, transports it back to general circulation by entering subclavian veins
- along the way they’ll encounter lymph nodes which will both filter the lymph & expose it to immune cells
- when lymphatics fail to pick up interstitial fluid & transport it back to the general circulation
- interstitial fluid accumulates (often in extremities) until there’s gross enlargement (extreme edema)
The cardiovascular system is a closed system except for in which organ?
closed system except in spleen