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Atherosclerosis Case Study Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2022

Atherosclerosis is a condition caused by the hardening of the arteries that, in most cases, comes with aging. However, the condition can also occur during young age as a result of clots or high levels of blood cholesterol along the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis causes blockage of the arteries, which in turn, may result in stroke heart attack, or even death (Marieb & Hoehn, 2007). This is what happened to St. Louis Cardinal’s 33-year-old Darryl Kile, who was found dead in his hotel room.

Atherosclerosis occurs as a result of the building up of fatty materials and plaque on the arterial walls, which makes the arteries grow narrower. When the arteries become extremely narrow, there is insufficient blood flowing into the heart, which may result in a heart attack or other cardiovascular complications. When there is insufficient blood in the heart, the vital organ lacks enough oxygen; consequently, it gets less energy than it needs to function properly. Less oxygen in the heart implies that its tissues cannot adequately respire to produce sufficient energy to enable it to carry out its function efficiently (Marieb & Hoehn, 2007).

There are several differences between arteries veins and capillaries; for example, the arteries are tough and elastic blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, while the veins carry blood into the heart. The capillaries, in comparison to arteries and veins, are the smallest in size and they aid in the transportation of nutrients to tissues. The function of the arteries is to carry oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body, while the function of the veins is to transport deoxygenated blood from other organs to the heart (Marieb & Hoehn, 2007).

A circulatory system is required in animals to assist in the circulation of nutrients and other essential materials throughout their bodies. Animals have two circulatory systems, which include the open and close systems. The closed circulatory system is superior to the open one; the blood in the former is kept at very high pressure as opposed to the latter. Animals with a closed system are known to metabolize faster than their counterparts with an open one. As a result, the bodies of the animals with the closed system have more power to fight infections (Marieb & Hoehn, 2007).

The lymphatic system and its circulatory counterpart work together in removing excess interstitial fluid and surplus fatty acids from the body. The excess fatty acids in the small intestines are first absorbed by lacteals, which then deposit in the veins for elimination from the body. The lymphatic system also absorbs the interstitial fluid from the body cells and deposits it in the circulatory system, which removes it from the body. The lymph system deposits the fluid into the blood in the veins, for removal (Edin & Golanty, 2013).

Lymphangiectasis is a disease that is known to affect lymphatic conduits. The effects of the illness on the lymph system are much similar to those of atherosclerosis on the blood flow system. Lymphangiectasia is a serious lymphatic condition that results from an extensive blockage of the major conduits that are used to circulate lymph throughout the body. The blockage, in most cases, is caused by the accumulation of Wuchereria bancrofti in the lymph vessels, especially in individuals who have once lived in the tropical regions (Edin & Golanty, 2013).

References

Edin, G., & Golanty, E. (2013). Health and wellness. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Marieb, E. N., & Hoehn, K. (2007). Human anatomy and physiology (7th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Prentice-Hall.

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