Cholesterol crystals embolise when an aortic atherosclerotic lesion ruptures and cholesterol crystals are scattered and obstruct small peripheral arterioles. Risk factors include both iatrogenic factors such as intravascular catheterisation, and spontaneous factors for atherosclerosis such as aging, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and smoking. We describe the case of an 83-year-old Japanese man who developed unilateral, superficial necrosis of the tongue as a result of spontaneous embolisation of cholesterol crystals.
Keywords: atherosclerosis; cholesterol crystal embolization; spontaneous factor; tongue necrosis.
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