Thickening of arterial walls as a result of sclerosis or formation of plaques on the vascular endothelium is called arteriosclerosis. It is a collective concept, bordering with atherosclerosis, its main characteristic is disruption of blood flow through large and small arterial trunks and development of ischemia of internal organs and tissues against this background. Arteriosclerosis can be called a particular case of atherosclerosis, which is convenient to refer to the sclerosis of vessels of a certain part of the body or organ. However, metabolic disorders and, first of all, lipid metabolism, which is affiliated with leptin, a hormone of adipose tissue, underlie these processes.
- General information.
- Causes and types of pathology.
- Risk factors.
- Atheromatosis .
Diffuse thickening of arterial walls – arteriosclerosis (arteriosclerosis, hardening of the arteries) – is a kind of lipid metabolism disorders. As a result of altered metabolism under the influence of a number of factors, vessel walls lose elasticity, endothelial damage sites are formed, in the area of which cholesterol plaques are forced. Vessels themselves expand or, on the contrary, narrow, become tortuous. Most often such destruction occurs in the vessels of the kidneys, lower extremities and the brain. Lack of blood flow to these organs determines the symptomatology of the disease. There is no gender, age, seasonality, endemicity, or race in the disease.
The symptomatology of arteriosclerosis is quite diverse and correlates with the localization of pathological changes:
- pain syndrome in the muscles of the lower leg, thighs, gluteal area when walking and physical activity;
- insomnia in cerebral vascular lesions;
- renal insufficiency;
- cardiovascular problems.
If adequate corrective measures are not taken in time, there is a risk of developing:
- heart attack;
- gangrene of the lower extremities.
Causes and types of pathology
Arteriosclerosis is a polycausal pathology. For its development, most often a combination of several factors is necessary.
The main triggers of the disease are considered to be:
- metabolic disorders;
- serious chronic somatic diseases;
- endocrine disorders;
- disorders in mineral metabolism;
- age of the patient.
Focusing on the triggers of the pathology, its pathogenesis and morphological changes, we distinguish:
- atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis against a background of metabolic disorders;
- hyalinosis or arteriosclerosis – a companion of serious chronic pathologies of internal organs;
- arteriosclerosis against the background of specific inflammation: lues, tuberculosis, leptospirosis;
- allergic arteriosclerosis;
- arteriosclerosis of systemic collagenoses;
- toxic arteriosclerosis;
- calcinosis of the middle sheath of the arteries;
- age-related or senile arteriosclerosis.
These can safely include:
- bad habits, especially smoking, including – passive smoking;
- hypercholesterolemia, associated with eating behavior and specifically with the fat cell hormone, leptin;
- endocrine abnormalities, such as diabetes mellitus, which is associated with leptin resistance through insulin resistance;
- obesity directly affiliated with leptin;
- genetic inheritance of the pathology.
This is the second name of atherosclerosis with predominant involvement of the inner lining of the arteries. Atheromatosis is characterized by the formation of fatty plaques (atheromas) in the vascular bed. Deposition of calcium salts in the vessel intima is the most common, although this process refers exclusively to the formation of calcium plaques in the middle muscular wall.
Hyaline degeneration of the vessel wall with fat infiltration is characteristic of the smallest arteries – arterioles. However, atromatosis is the most important in the clinical version of the disease, because it affects the aorta and large branches of the coronary arteries of the heart and cerebral vessels. Calcinosis is the prerogative of the small branches of the coronary arteries of the heart and limb vessels. In limb lesions, calcinosis is often combined with atheromatosis of the inner lining of vessels. Hyalinosis with fatty infiltration affects renal arterioles.
As for the diagnosis, it can be made only with the help of laboratory tests. The examination algorithm is the same as that for atherosclerosis. The main thing is to determine the level of total cholesterol and its fractions – LDL and HDL. Otherwise, the course of the examination is dictated by complications or concomitant pathology.
Treatment is diet and statins.
With timely diagnosis and treatment – favorable. If diagnosed late, there is a risk of complications, including fatal ones. Prevention is reduced to a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. Dispensary examinations are encouraged, which are conducted under the policy of the MHI in accordance with the age of the patient in any health center.