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J Intern Med. 2008 May;263(5):506-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.01947.x.

From vulnerable plaque to atherothrombosis.

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  • 1Atherosclerosis Research Unit, Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital (Skejby), Aarhus, Denmark.


Plaque rupture precipitates approximately 75% of all fatal coronary thrombi. Therefore, the plaque prone to rupture is the primary focus of this review. The lipid-rich core and fibrous cap are pivotal in the understanding of plaque rupture. Plaque rupture is a localized process within the plaque caused by degradation of a tiny fibrous cap rather than by diffuse inflammation of the plaque. Atherosclerosis is a multifocal disease, but plaques prone to rupture seem to be oligofocal at most.

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