The stenosis of the body’s arteries which is the primary reason behind various cardiovascular diseases is known as atherothrombosis or atherosclerosis. The arteries of the heart get hardened as a result of plaque build-up under the walls of the arteries and the flow of the blood to the specific organ is refrained. The process starts in the childhood and develops throughout the adulthood. The composition of the plaque includes cholesterol, fat and even the calcium deposits which are found in the blood.
This disease is characterized by unpredictable and sudden atherosclerotic erosion, causing activation of the platelets and formation of a blood clot (thrombus). The magnitude of the thrombosis process triggered upon plaque disruption is modulated by different elements that determine plaque and blood thrombogenicity: local shear rate, tissue factor (TF), apoptotic micro particles, circulating monocytes, and others. Because of the formation of the clot, the flow of the blood is hindered and the supply of the oxygen to the respective organ is hampered leading to the death of cells.
Atherothrombosis leads to grim diseases like coronary heart disease, transient ischemic attack, peripheral arterial disease, heart attack, angina pectoris and even sudden death. The individuals suffering from the atherothrombotic disease in the coronary arteries, the cerebrovascular system and even the peripheral arteries have 39% chances of cardiovascular events whereas in the past it was 11% for the same. However, if the patients have artherothrombosis in the coronary arteries or the cerebrovascular system then probability of cardiovascular event is low in comparison to the people who have atherothrombosis in their peripheral arteries. High-resolution MRI has emerged as the potential leading noninvasive in vivo imaging modality for atherosclerotic plaque characterization. Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are used to cover a spectrum of clinical presentations ranging from unstable angina (UA) through non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and ST-elevation-myocardial infarction (STEMI).
The steady beating of the heart is regulated by electrical impulses traveling through the heart. Since the heart relies on electrical waves to power and coordinate its contractions, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) which measures these waves can often reflect ischemia or other findings consistent with MI. Different ECG/EKG wave patterns reflect different clinical syndromes, and these are used in clinical diagnosis in addition to a cardiac serum marker such as CK-MB or a cardiac troponin detected in the blood. The treatment of atherothrombotic patients must include the management of cardiovascular risk factors and anti-platelet treatment for the prevention of thrombosis complications.