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Kamis, 09 April 2009

Cholesterol Crystals and Heart Attacks

Researchers from Michigan State University have discovered that heart attacks can be caused by cholesterol crystals in the blood stream that disrupt plaque found in arteries. Plaque consists of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances that build-up and reduce blood flow. As cholesterol builds on artery walls, it crystallizes and expands. The sharp crystals eventually move into the blood causing damage to arterial they move along. As the body tries to repair itself through the prwalls as ocess of clotting, it can lead to the development of blood clots that completely block blood flow. When this happens, a heart attack occurs.

Cholesterol CrystalsImage courtesy of Michigan State University
The image to the right shows cholesterol crystals. The protruding elements seen in the different slides are the crystals. Those elements are arising from within the artery wall, causing tearing and damage to the artery. The colors have been added for enhancement and imagery.

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