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Netherlands Heart Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 280–283 | Cite as

High shear stress influences plaque vulnerability

  • H. C. Groen
  • F. J. H. Gijsen
  • A. van der Lugt
  • M. S. Ferguson
  • T. S. Hatsukami
  • C. Yuan
  • A. F. W. van der Steen
  • J. J. Wentzel
Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands

shear stressplaque vulnerability

Cerebrovascular events are frequently caused by rupture of a vulnerable plaque in the carotid arteries. Rupture-prone, or vulnerable, plaques are characterised by their specific morphology and composition: a large lipid pool covered by a thin fibrous cap infiltrated by macrophages, 1 and expansive remodelling. 2,3 The strength of the cap of a vulnerable plaque is determined by the balance between cap-consolidating matrix synthesis by smooth muscle cells (SMC) and enzymatic matrix degradation induced by macrophages. 4 Studies on the spatial distribution of plaque components showed that the concentration of macrophages is higher, 5,6 the density of SMC is lower and metalloproteinase (MMP-9) activity is higher at the upstream side of the plaque compared with the downstream side, 6suggesting that plaque vulnerability is associated with the direction of the flow. Indeed, plaque rupture was observed to occur most frequently at the upstream part of a lumen...
magnetic resonance imaging 

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Copyright information

© Bohn Stafleu van Loghum 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Groen
    • 1
  • F. J. H. Gijsen
  • A. van der Lugt
  • M. S. Ferguson
  • T. S. Hatsukami
  • C. Yuan
  • A. F. W. van der Steen
  • J. J. Wentzel
  1. 1.

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