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December 13, 1965

The Role of Vascular Dynamics in the Development of Atherosclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the departments of forensic medicine (Drs. Texon and Helpern) and surgery (Dr. Imparato), New York University Medical Center, and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York (Dr. Helpern).

JAMA. 1965;194(11):1226-1230. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090240060016

This report identifies the inception and progressive pathology of atherosclerosis resulting from the effects of hydraulic forces inherent in the circulatory system.1 Vascular dynamics relates the effect of hydraulic forces to the biological response of blood vessels. The forces and principles involved are directly comparable to those which prevail in all hydraulic systems with due regard to local conditions of flow and hydraulic characteristics.2 The laws of fluid mechanics are fully applicable to the hydrobiological conditions found in the human circulatory system, and the composite effects of their operation are both prerequisite and conducive to atherosclerosis.

Previous reports3,4 have correlated atherosclerotic lesions found at autopsy with their localization in the circulatory system as determined by hydraulic forces. Rigid and flexible model hydraulic systems built to simulate the specifications of human blood vessels with respect to pulsatile flow, volumetric flow, velocity of flow, and anatomical geometry confirm the