Correlation of Morphological and Biochemical Components of Atherosclerotic Plaques
It is clear from preceding presentations in this symposium that existing morphologic and morphometric techniques are adequate to quantitate the extent of atherosclerotic change. Biochemical techniques have also been utilized to assess the severity of atherosclerotic change by quantitating the amount of various components in arterial segments containing lesions and, in some instances, within arterial lesions themselves. Although much progress has been made in quantitating components of atherosclerotic lesions chemically, their assessment with morphologic techniques has lagged badly. This is unfortunate; the use of morphometric techniques in evaluation of lesions is potentially useful in describing areas of change within lesions too small to characterize chemically and in understanding qualitative changes--particularly those involving spatial relations of altered cellular and extracellular components during lesion initiation, progression, and regression. An appreciation of the biochemical and subcellular changes and spatial relations of lesion components at various points in time is essential to understanding the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The importance of these relationships to understanding the pathogenesis of disease was clearly stated by Virchow over 100 years ago.
KeywordsAtherosclerotic Lesion Cholesteryl Ester Arterial Segment Fatty Streak Arterial Lesion
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