Atherosclerotic plaque rupture: A fatigue process?

A. J. Bank, A. Versluis, S. M. Dodge, W. H. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The mechanism of atherosclerotic plaque rupture is not known. Current theories focus on the acute triggers of plaque rupture and myocardial infarction such as increased shear or circumferential stress, rupture of the vasa vasorum and vasospasm. We hypothesize that a critical mechanism causing plaque rupture is fatigue failure, the catastrophic rupture of a material following exposure to high-cycle, low-amplitude repetitive stress. Comparisons between material fatigue and plaque rupture demonstrate that this hypothesis is consistent with known physiologic and epidemiologic data on plaque rupture. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-484
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the University of Minnesota and Merck and Co.


Dive into the research topics of 'Atherosclerotic plaque rupture: A fatigue process?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this