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Quick Uptakes
May 27, 1998

Plaque Rupture vs Erosion

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JAMA. 1998;279(20):1599. doi:10.1001/jama.279.20.1599-JQU80002-4-1

Add differences in blood clotting to the list of possibilities for why sudden cardiac death is more common among men than women before the age of 50 years.

Previous studies by researchers at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC, have shown that blood vessel obstructions leading to sudden cardiac death can be triggered by blood clots in an artery caused either by plaque rupture—the most common form in men of any age—or by plaque erosion. Rupture is the disruption of a fibrous cap over a lipid core; erosion is the superficial disruption of a fibromuscular plaque without a core.

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