Atherosclerotic plaque caps are locally weakened when macrophages density is increased

Atherosclerosis. 1991 Mar;87(1):87-90. doi: 10.1016/0021-9150(91)90235-u.


The density of macrophages, identified by the antibody EBMII, in human aortic plaque caps was counted. A contiguous strip of cap tissue was tested mechanically. Aortic plaque caps which had undergone rupture (ulceration) at one end (n = 18) were compared with caps of intact plaques (n = 22). The caps of ruptured plaques showed a significant increase in macrophage density, an increased extensibility and decreased maximum stress (force per unit area) at fracture when compared with caps from intact plaques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cell Count
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Stress, Mechanical