Both atherosclerosis and hypertension are characterized by smooth muscle proliferation. The atherosclerotic lesion is characterized by proliferation of smooth muscle in the arterial intima of large arteries. Complication of this proliferation by lipid accumulation and thrombosis leads to death. Smooth muscle proliferation in hypertensive vascular disease is characteristic of small arteries. Again, the result is increased wall mass with a narrowed lumen. The small vessel change is thought to be a cause of the increased peripheral resistance of high blood pressure. The common features in atherosclerosis and hypertension suggest that control of cell proliferation may be critical in treating both diseases.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association