Atherothrombosis describes the occurrence of both
atherosclerosis and thrombosis in an artery, a
common feature of peripheral arterial disease.1
It is estimated that 1 in 16 U.S. residents who were
at least 40 years of age in 2000 (approximately 8.5
million persons) had peripheral arterial disease.
In 1856, Rudolf Virchow published “Cellular pathology” based on macroscopic and
microscopic observation of diseases, and described a triad of factors on thrombosis. The
three components were vascular change, blood flow alteration, and abnormalities of blood
constituents. Although Virchow originally referred to venous thrombosis, the theory can
also be applied to arterial thrombosis, and it is considered that atherothrombus formation is
regulated by the thrombogenicity of exposed plaque contents, local hemorheology, and
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provides insight into the early assessment process and the application of precaution,
an often poorly described management action rarely captured in peer review
literature. The situation surrounding this potential new threat to blood safety was
largely resolved in mid-2011 when it was determined that the virus was an artifact
from contaminated patient samples and from contamination stemming from a
diagnostic test kit widely used by researchers.