It is a common observation that postmortem examination may reveal extensive atherosclerotic changes in the coronary arteries of the hearts of persons who have shown no marked evidence of myocardial damage during life. This raises the question whether thick atherosclerotic plaques, which seem nearly to occlude the coronary arteries when these are seen in the collapsed state at the postmortem examination, really diminish to an equal degree the lumen of the artery when it is distended with blood under the usual intravascular pressure. The classic observation of Thoma1 convinced him that atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta really did not protrude into the lumen but merely filled in bulgings resulting from weakness of the media. He made paraffin casts of the aorta at blood pressure and reported that the plaques which bulge into the lumen after death are really ironed out during life when the aorta is filled under the
STEWART JD, BIRCHWOOD E, WELLS HG. THE EFFECT OF ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUES: ON THE DIAMETER OF THE LUMEN OF CORONARY ARTERIES. JAMA. 1935;104(9):730–733. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760090034010
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