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Gross pathology of Atherosclerosis in Aorta

Atherosclerosis is the process in which deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery "Plaque".

Distribution of atheromatous plaques:
  •  Lower descending aorta {ostia of the major branches}
  •  First 3 inches of coronary arteries
  •  Descending aorta
  •  Internal carotids
  •  Circle of Willis
  •  Leg arteries
This image shows Atheroscleosis of Aorta; the aorta was opned along the posterior wall . Numerous calcified and ulcerated, yellow atherosclerotic plaques (arrows) dot the inner surface. Note the narrowed aorta above the iliac bifurcation. It is calcified, stenotic and lined by clotted blood.

Clinical Consequences of Atheromatous plaques include:
* Occlusion
* Vessel rupture
* Aneurysmal dissection

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