Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Fifty-five percent of all deaths in the United States are ascribed to cardiovascular disease. The vast majority of these deaths are due directly or indirectly to atherosclerosis and its ischemic complications (Am. Heart Assoc., 1965; U.S. President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke, 1964). Atherosclerosis is defined in Dorland's dictionary (24th edition) as "a lesion of large and medium-sized arteries with deposits in the intima of yellowish plaques containing cholesterol, lipoid material and lipophages." Typical atherosclerotic lesions of the coronary arteries are shown in figure 1. Even a casual inspection of these lesions shows the incompleteness of this conventional definition. It is obvious that thrombosis accounts for the occlusive terminal phase of atherosclerosis and, indeed, is supposed by some to initiate atherosclerosis.
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