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Transcript of Atherosclerosis
A fluid transportation system that transports gases from the lungs to the cells and moves wastes from the cells to the outside of the body
Delivers blood to the different parts of the body
One of the most essential parts of the body
Heart acts as the main pump in the system
Protects the body from blood loss
Help maintain fluid balance within the body
Also transports nutrients and hormones throughout the body and helps regulate body temperature
The cardiovascular system is part of the circulatory system
Made up of blood, blood vessels, and the heart
The heart beats approximately 70 times per minute & approximately 2.5 billion beats a lifetime
Total length of all blood vessels is approximately 60,000 miles
The sound of a heartbeat is the sound of the heart valves closing as the blood is pushed through the heart chambers
Chocolate can improve cardiovascular health
The heart is about the size of your clenched fist
The heart pumps nearly 4,000 gal of blood a day
The cardiovascular system makes sure oxygen gets transported throughout the body
Carries nutrients from the digestive system throughout the tissues so your cells can turn it into energy
Structures & Organs
Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries due to the formation of plaque, caused by the deposition of fats and cholesterol. Depositions like theses cause the arteries to lose elasticity as the arterial wall thickens. It makes the arteries narrow which impairs normal blood circulation. Atherosclerosis can give rise to complications like heart attack over a period of time.
The Cardiovascular System & Atherosclerosis
Reduce risk factors to slow or stop the build up of plaque
Lower the risk of blood clots
Widening or bypassing plaque-filled arteries
Preventing diseases related to atherosclerosis
Blood Vessels, Arteries, & Veins
Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart throughout the body. They're lined by a thin layer of cells called the endothelium. The endothelium works to keep the inside of the arteries toned and smooth, which keeps blood flowing.
Atherosclerosis begins when high blood pressure, smoking, or high cholesterol damage the endothelium. At this point, cholesterol plaque formation begins.
The bad cholesterol, or LDL, crosses damaged endothelium. The cholesterol enters the wall of the artery and the white blood cells stream in to digest the LDL cholesterol. Over years, the accumulating mess of cholesterol and cells becomes plaque in the wall of the artery.
The jumble of lipids, or cholesterol, cells, and debris create a bump on the artery wall, and through the years, the bump grows and a large enough bump can create blockage.
Atherosclerosis can be found all over the body, so if it is found in the heart, it is likely to be found elsewhere, leaving one at risk of a stroke.
Physical exam: During the Physical exam, your doctor may listen to your arteries for an abnormal whooshing sound called a bruit. Your doctor can hear a bruit when placing a stethoscope over an affected artery. a bruit many indicate poor blood flow due to plaque build up. Your doctor may also check your pulse, Weak or absent can be a sign of blockage.
Diagnostic Tests: Your doctor may recommend one or more tests to diagnose atherosclerosis. These tests also can help your doctor learn the extent of your disease and plan the best treatment.
There is no cure for Atherosclerosis. Once coronary atherosclerosis develops, it must be dealt with and managed for life. The risk of other cardiac issues or the disruption of the general blood circulation depends on how the disease is controlled through lifestyle changes and medication. The changes that must be made and the medications prescribed reduce the risk of future deposits of cholesterol and plaque in the coronary arteries. Statins, which are sometimes prescribed with a “selective cholesterol absorption inhibitor”, can greatly reduce already existing plaque, raise levels of HDL cholesterol, and possibly reduce the inflammatory process believed to be the cause of and the reason for progression of coronary atherosclerosis. Medication can also help to soften the plaque deposits, making them less likely to break away from the artery, causing blockages in the vessels within the heart.
The heart is a muscular pumping organ located medial to the lungs along the body’s midline in the thoracic region. The bottom tip of the heart, known as its apex, is turned to the left, so that about 2/3 of the heart is located on the body’s left side with the other 1/3 on right. The top of the heart, known as the heart’s base, connects to the great blood vessels of the body: the aorta, vena cava, pulmonary trunk, and pulmonary veins.
The heart has its own set of blood vessels that provide the myocardium with the oxygen and nutrients necessary to pump blood throughout the body. The left and right coronary arteries branch off from the aorta and provide blood to the left and right sides of the heart. The coronary sinus is a vein on the posterior side of the heart that returns deoxygenated blood from the myocardium to the vena cava.
The average human body contains about 4 to 5 liters of blood. As a liquid connective tissue, it transports many substances through the body and helps to maintain homeostasis of nutrients, wastes, and gases. Blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and liquid plasma
Red Blood Cells: Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, are by far the most common type of blood cell and make up about 45% of blood volume. Erythrocytes are produced inside of red bone marrow from stem cells at the astonishing rate of about 2 million cells every second. The shape of erythrocytes is biconcave—disks with a concave curve on both sides of the disk so that the center of an erythrocyte is its thinnest part. The unique shape of erythrocytes gives these cells a high surface area to volume ratio and allows them to fold to fit into thin capillaries. Immature erythrocytes have a nucleus that is ejected from the cell when it reaches maturity to provide it with its unique shape and flexibility. The lack of a nucleus means that red blood cells contain no DNA and are not able to repair themselves once damaged.
White Blood Cells: White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, make up a very small percentage of the total number of cells in the bloodstream, but have important functions in the body’s immune system. There are two major classes of white blood cells: granular leukocytes and agranular leukocytes.
Blood vessels are the body’s highways that allow blood to flow quickly and efficiently from the heart to every region of the body and back again. The size of blood vessels corresponds with the amount of blood that passes through the vessel. All blood vessels contain a hollow area called the lumen through which blood is able to flow. Around the lumen is the wall of the vessel, which may be thin in the case of capillaries or very thick in the case of arteries.
All blood vessels are lined with a thin layer of simple squamous epithelium known as the endothelium that keeps blood cells inside of the blood vessels and prevents clots from forming. The endothelium lines the entire circulatory system, all the way to the interior of the heart, where it is called the endocardium.
There are three major types of blood vessels: arteries, capillaries and veins. Blood vessels are often named after either the region of the body through which they carry blood or for nearby structures. For example, the brachiocephalic artery carries blood into the brachial (arm) and cephalic (head) regions. One of its branches, the subclavian artery, runs under the clavicle; hence the name subclavian. The subclavian artery runs into the axillary region where it becomes known as the axillary artery.
Lymphatic vessels are structures of the lymphatic system that transport fluid away from tissues. Lymphatic vessels are similar to blood vessels, but they don't carry blood. The fluid transported by lymphatic vessels is called lymph. Lymph is a clear fluid that comes from blood plasma that exits blood vessels at capillary beds. This fluid becomes the interstitial fluid that surrounds cells. Lymph vessels collect and filter this fluid before directing it toward blood vessels near the heart. It is here that lymph re-enters blood circulation. Returning lymph to the blood helps to maintain normal blood volume and pressure. It also prevents edema, the excess accumulation of fluid around tissues.
Lymphatic Vessels and Lymph Flow
Although lymphatic vessels are similar in structure to and generally found alongside blood vessels, they are also different from blood vessels. Lymph vessels are larger than blood vessels. Unlike blood, lymph within lymphatic vessels is not circulated in the body. While cardiovascular system structures pump and circulate blood, lymph flows in one direction and is ushered along by muscle contractions within lymph vessels, valves that prevent fluid back flow, skeletal muscle movement, and changes in pressure. Lymph is first taken up by lymphatic capillaries and flows to lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels direct lymph to lymph nodes and along to lymphatic trunks. Lymphatic trunks drain into one of two lymphatic ducts, which return lymph to the blood via the subclavian veins.
Early atherosclerosis does not have any symptoms. Symptoms may begin to appear as
the arteries become harder and narrower. Symptoms can occur suddenly if a clot blocks
a blood vessel or a large blockage breaks free
Symptoms depend on which arteries are affected. For example:
• Coronary arteries of the heart—May cause symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain
• Arteries to the brain—May cause symptoms of a stroke such as weakness, vision problems, speech problems, or headache
• Arteries in the lower extremities—May cause pain in the legs or feet and trouble walking
• Atherosclerosis is the progressive buildup of plaque – deposits of fat, calcium and other
• Substances – in the walls of your arteries.
There are two types of plaque that can form in the artery walls:
• Stable plaque has a thick fibrous covering. This type of plaque grows slowly, progressively decreasing the lumen of the artery.
• Eventually this reduces blood flow to the brain, heart, or other parts of the body enough to cause organ dysfunction, and often associated pain.
• Unstable plaque is more dangerous. Because it has a thin cap, these plaques rupture, causing a sudden complete or severe reduction in blood flow. When this happens in a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or sudden cardiac arrest (from ischemia related cardiac dysrhythmia such as ventricular fibrillation).
• Whether the plaque in your arteries is stable or unstable, all plaque contains a lipid core – fatty deposits made of cholesterol, cells and a variety of other substances.
Plaque tends to build up slowly in the arteries and atherosclerosis may have no symptoms until the artery becomes severely narrowed or completely blocked.