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Coronary Atherosclerosis : Stable plaque

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Stable atheromatous plaque in the left anterior descending coronary artery of a 77 y/o male with history of arterial hypertension. Atheroma has intra- and extracellular lipid deposits (foam cells and cholesterol crystals) and a thick fibrous cap. Stable plaques may be complicated by abrupt rupture, erosion, ulceration, fissuring, or hemorrhage within the plaque. The resultant superimposed thrombus formed at the site of plaque damage causes partial or complete occlusion of the involved artery, often precipitating an acute event such as unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, or sudden cardiac death. Image copyright: pathorama.ch.

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