Infarction is tissue death (necrosis) due to inadequate blood supply to the affected area. It may be caused by artery blockages, rupture, mechanical compression, or vasoconstriction. The resulting lesion is referred to as an infarct
(from the Latin infarctus, "stuffed into").
Infarction occurs as a result of prolonged ischemia, which is the insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrition to an area of tissue due to a disruption in blood supply. The blood vessel supplying the affected area of tissue may be blocked due to an obstruction in the vessel (e.g., an arterial embolus, thrombus, or atherosclerotic plaque), compressed by something outside of the vessel causing it to narrow (e.g., tumor, volvulus, or hernia), ruptured by trauma causing a loss of blood pressure downstream of the rupture, or vasoconstricted, which is the narrowing of the blood vessel by contraction of the muscle wall rather than an external force (e.g., cocaine vasoconstriction leading to myocardial infarction).
Infarction could be caused by damaged cholesterol plaque
Hypertension and atherosclerosis are risk factors for both atherosclerotic plaques and thromboembolism. In atherosclerotic formations, a plaque develops under a fibrous cap. When the fibrous cap is degraded by metalloproteinases released from macrophages or by intravascular shear force from blood flow, subendothelial thrombogenic material (extracellular matrix) is exposed to circulating platelets and thrombus formation occurs on the vessel wall occluding blood flow. Occasionally, the plaque may rupture and form an embolus which travels with the blood-flow downstream to where the vessel narrows and eventually clogs the vessel lumen
Infarction of the lung due to a pulmonary embolism
A blood clot could be a broken thrombosis that got clotted to the blood vessel wall.
Infarctions are divided into two types according to the amount of blood present:
Brain: Cerebral infarction is the ischemic kind of stroke due to a disturbance in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. It can be atherothrombotic or embolic. Stroke caused by cerebral infarction should be distinguished from two other kinds of stroke: cerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Cerebral infarctions vary in their severity with one third of the cases resulting in death.
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