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Related to atherosclerotic: arteriosclerosis, abdominal aorta


Relating to or characterized by atherosclerosis.


Relating to or characterized by atherosclerosis.


(ath?e-ro?skle-ro'sis ) [ athero- + sclerosis]
The most common form of arteriosclerosis, marked by cholesterol-lipid-calcium deposits in the walls of arteries that may restrict blood flow. atherosclerotic (skle-rot'ik), adjective See: coronary artery disease for illus


The initial pathological changes, called fatty streaks, are visible on the endothelial surfaces of major blood vessels by the age of 10. These lesions may progress to thickening of the lining of arteries (a process called intimal thickening) if risk factors for atherosclerosis are not addressed. Whether these lesions in turn progress to advanced lesions, called fibrous plaques, depends on hemodynamic forces (e.g., hypertension) and abnormal plasma levels of lipoproteins (e.g., high levels of total and LDL cholesterol; low levels of HDL cholesterol). Ultimately, arteries affected by the disease may become nearly completely blocked, a condition that causes ischemia. If a plaque within a blood vessel suddenly ruptures, the blood vessel may close and organs or tissues may infarct.

See: myocardial infarction; peripheral vascular disease; stroke


Risk factors for atherosclerosis include use of tobacco, diabetes mellitus, elevated blood lipid concentrations, hypertension, family history, male gender, menopause, microalbuminuria, chronic kidney disease, age, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. The role of vascular inflammation due to chronic infections or elevated homocysteine levels are topics of active research.


Symptoms may develop in any organ system with a blood supply diminished by atherosclerosis. These symptoms commonly include angina pectoris, intermittent claudication, strokes, transient ischemic attacks, and renal insufficiency.


Treatment includes regular exercise, stopping smoking, and a dietary regimen of low-cholesterol and low-fat foods. Medical treatment of hypertension, lipid disorders, and diabetes mellitus is also helpful. Angioplasty, atherectomy, or arterial bypass graft operations are beneficial for some patients.

Patient care

The patient and family are taught about risk factors associated with atherosclerosis, and the health care professionals help the patient modify these factors. Patients who smoke cigarettes are encouraged to enroll in smoking cessation programs. Community-based plans and programs to change sedentary activity patterns, reduce stress, control obesity, and decrease saturated fat intake to control triglyceride and cholesterol levels are explored with the patient. The nurse or other health care professional refers the patient for medical treatment to control hypertension and diabetes mellitus and supports the patient's efforts to cooperate with lifestyle and health care changes. Regular exercise of a type and extent appropriate for the patient's health and adequate rest are prescribed. The patient is informed of the need for long-term follow-up care to prevent a variety of body system complications.


pertaining to atherosclerosis.
References in periodicals archive ?
About the GLOBAL ( Genetic Loci and the Burden of Atherosclerotic Lesions) Study
The significant effect of HRT on the prevalence for PAD was maintained in the patients with existing atherosclerotic risk factors," added Rockman, "and in postmenopausal women with either a smoking history, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes, the odds ratio of HRT use with regard to PAD remained 0.
Our second finding that IL-6[gamma] appears to contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic lesions is supported by our observation that the mean areas of lesions in mice injected with HSV2-IL-6[gamma] were nearly 3-fold larger than the mean areas of lesions in control mice.
Autopsy studies have demonstrated that the coronary vessels of SLE patients have the usual atherosclerotic plaque, and that most cardiovascular events are not attributable to active vasculitis.
Invasive Techniques for Evaluation of the Atherosclerotic Vulnerable plaques
ATLANTA -- During the 1990s, patients with peripheral artery disease often did not get the care they needed for atherosclerotic disease, based on a review of 360 patients in North Carolina.
FoxHollow Technologies developed and markets the SilverHawk(TM) Plaque Excision System, an atherosclerotic plaque excision device approved in the U.
Introducing the Stethotron(R): A Revolution in Doctor/Patient Care via Non-Invasive Early Detection of Atherosclerotic Changes
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have become the platform of therapy for the treatment and prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, particularly in patients with elevated serum cholesterol.
But he cautions that the streaks are only the precursors of life-threatening atherosclerotic plaques.
George Rappard, medical director of Glendale Adventist Medical Center's Neuroscience program, performed the first case using the new Wingspan(TM) Stent System with Gateway(TM) PTA Balloon Catheter to treat intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD).

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