Sample Essay

Inflammation due to injury leads to monocyte recruitment.  Also known as the scavengers, and activated immunologicaly, they move towards the injury site and move underneath the endothelium and into the intima layer where the lipids deposition is present. They transform into macrophages and engulf the lipids. This leads to the eventual formation of a plaque consisting of a cholesterol core with lipid laden macrophages surrounding the core. Possibility of involvement of T-lymphocytes in the activation of the macrophages in an area of research nowadays (Von Baeyer H, 2003).

Smooth muscle

Macrophages release growth factors which stimulate the growth of smooth muscle cells and connective tissue. Activation of the smooth cells and the connective tissue leads to wall thickening and the reduction of lumen in size.

One of many things can now happen to the plaque.  It can continue growing and occlude the lumen completely; it can tear off from its anchoring site and get dislodged.  In this case, the exposure of the basement membrane underneath leads to attraction of platelets and coagulation cascade activation which leads to thrombus formation. This thrombus too, can grow to obstruct the vessel can tear off and obstruct some other narrower vessel down stream.

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