Cardiovascular Disease

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  • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Atheroma formation
      • 1) Wall of an artery made up of several layers
      • 2) Endothelium usually smooth/ unbroken
      • 3) If damage occurs to endothelium, white blood cells/lipids clump together to form fatty streaks
      • 4) Over time more white blood cells, lipids and connective tissue build up/harden to form fibrous plaque- atheroma
      • 5) Atheroma partially blocks lumen of artery/restricts blood flow. Causes blood pressure to increase
      • 6) Coronary heart disease occurs when CA have lots of atheromas which restrict blood flow to heart. Can lead to myocardial infarction
    • Aneurysm
      • Balloon like swelling of artery
      • 1) Atheroma plaques damage/ weaken arteries. Narrow arteries, increasing BP
      • 2) When blood travels through weakened artery at high pressure, may push inner layers through outer elastic layer to form swelling
      • 3) Aneurysm may burst causing haemorrhage
    • Thrombosis
      • Formation of blood clot
      • 1) Atheroma plaque can rupture the endothelium of an artery
      • 2) Damages artery wall and leaves rough surface
      • 3) Platelets and fibrin accumulate at site of damage, form blood clot
      • 4) Blood clot can cause blockage of artery/ become dislodged and block blood vessels
      • 5) Debris from rupture can cause another blood clot further down artery
    • Myocardial infarction
      • 1) Heart muscle supplied with blood by coronary arteries
      • 2) Blood contains oxygen for heart muscles to carry out repiration
      • 3) If CA becomes completely blocked, area of heart muscle will be cut off from blood supply/receive no oxygen
      • 4) Causes heart attack
      • 5) Can cause damage/death of heart muscle
      • 6) Symptoms: pain in chest, shortness of breath, sweating
      • 7) Large areas of heart affected can cause heart failure which is fatal


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