Thickening and loss of elasticity of the walls of medium and large muscular ARTERIES with lesions in the innermost layer of the artery (ARTERIAL INTIMA). This disease process of atherogenesis includes the retention of cholesterol-rich LIPOPROTEINS and their binding to PROTEOGLYCANS in the arterial intima, generation of proinflammatory molecules that recruit MACROPHAGES to the subendothelial space, formation of FOAM CELLS, and eventual calcification of the arterial wall. These arterial plaques (atheromas) contain CARBOHYDRATES; BLOOD; and CALCIUM.
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