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The Arterial Highway

Metaphors and analogies have long been used to turn complex medical concepts into everyday ones, albeit with fancy terminology. Having been involved with many 3D animations on the topics of Blood Pressure, arteriosclerosis, cholesterol and the like, we find that often a metaphor goes a long way to building understanding, credibility and even compliance with patients. One of my favorite analogies is what we call the arterial highway. Much like their tarmacked counterparts, arteries act as conduits for all the parts that make your body go. A city typically uses highways, gas lines, water pipes, railways and other infrastructure to distribute important materials to its people. Your body is much the same, except that it does it all in one system, the cardiovascular system. This is used to deliver nutrients, extract waste, transport and deliver oxygen and even to maintain the temperature! The arteries can do all these things because of their smart three-layered structure. Our arteries consist of a muscular tube lined by smooth tissue. They have three layers named – the Adventitia, Media and Intima. Each is designed with a specific function and through the magic of evolution has developed to perform its function perfectly. The first is the Tunica Adventitia, or just adventitia. It is a strong outer covering over the arteries and veins. It has special tissues that are fibrous. The fibers let the arteries flex, expanding and contracting to accommodate changes in blood pressure as the blood flows past it. Unlike a steel pipe, arteries pulsate and so must be at once be flexible, and strong. Tunica Media - the middle layer of the walls of arteries and veins is made up of a smooth muscle with some elasticity built in. This layer expands and contracts in a rhythmic fashion, much like a Wave at a baseball game, as blood moves along it. The media layer is thicker in arteries than in veins, and importantly so, as arteries carry blood at a higher pressure than veins. The innermost layer of arteries and veins is the Tunica Intima. In arteries, this layer is composed of an elastic lining and smooth endothelium - a thin sheet of cells that form a type of skin over the surface. The elastic tissue present in the artery can stretch and return, allowing the arteries to adapt to changes in flow and blood pressure. The intima is also a very smoothe, slick layer so that blood can easily flow past it. Every layer of the artery has developed evolutionary traits that help your arterial system to maintain flexibility, strength and promote blood flow. Diseases and conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure, diabetes and others prevent the arteries from doing their function well by creating blockages or increasing the stress on one or more of the layers. For example, high blood pressure causes rips in the smooth lining of the Intima. Anybody who has experienced a pipe burst in a house knows that the damage can be extreme and can never fully be restored. Understanding the delicate functions of the arterial structure gives good incentive to treat them better. Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes create tears, holes, blockages, and can disrupt the functions of one or more layers. Getting patients to visualize the effect of bad eating habits on their anatomy helps to increase patient compliance. In modern society, the concept of highways goes hand in hand with the concept of traffic jams. Patients understand that the arterial highway is one that can never be jammed.  
Mr. Rohit Singh
about 7 years ago
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Upper Limb Arteries - Hand and Wrist - 3D Anatomy Tutorial - YouTube

Blood supply to the hand and wrist upper limb arteries anatomy tutorial. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. The following structures are rev...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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5
297

Upper Limb Arteries - Arm and Forearm - 3D Anatomy Tutorial

Upper limb arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. In this video t...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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1
109

Foot Arteries - 3D Anatomy Tutorial

Foot arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. Learn all about the b...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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1

Foot Arteries - 3D Anatomy Tutorial - YouTube

Foot arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. Learn all about the b...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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0
71

Leg Arteries - 3D Anatomy Tutorial

Leg arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. Learn about the branch...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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0
77

Knee Arteries - 3D Anatomy Tutorial

Knee arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. Learn all about the a...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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0

Knee Arteries - 3D Anatomy Tutorial - YouTube

Knee arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. Learn all about the a...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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76

Thigh Arteries - 3D Anatomy Tutorial

Thigh arteries anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com. Learn all about the ...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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53

Internal Iliac Artery

Internal iliac artery branches anatomy tutorial. Check out the 3D app at http://AnatomyLearning.com. More tutorials available on http://AnatomyZone.com -----...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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6
336

Lower Limb Arteries Overview - 3D Anatomy Tutorial

Lower limb arteries anatomy tutorial using the Anatomy Learning Platform (http://www.anatomylearning.com), produced and edited by AnatomyZone (http://anatomy...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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8

How to Have True Heart Health

How to Have True Heart Health Cholesterol does not cause heart attacks. There is no such thing as good or bad cholesterol. If an artery is "blocked" then why...  
youtube.com
over 5 years ago
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Study compares outcomes of 2 devices used in carotid artery stenting

First comparative effectiveness study of protective devices showed little difference in outcomesA study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions showed...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Poor response to cholesterol drugs may indicate blocked arteries

Patients whose bad cholesterol levels don't respond to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may have more artery blockages than those whose cholesterol levels drop with treatment.  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Keeping atherosclerosis in-check with novel targeted inflammation-resolving nanomedicines

Nanometer-sized 'drones' that deliver a special type of healing molecule to fat deposits in arteries could become a new way to prevent heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis, according to a...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Precision nano 'drones' deliver healing drug to subdue atherosclerosis

Nanometer-sized 'drones' that deliver a special type of healing molecule to fat deposits in arteries could become a new way to prevent heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis, if a recent study...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Interventional radiology offers new treatment for enlarged prostates

Research demonstrates prostate artery embolization effectiveness for benign prostatic hyperplasia, with low side effectsMen with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Targeting dangerous inflammation inside artery plaque

Study shows nanomedicine therapy reduces heart attack risk by halting artery plaque growth and suppressing inflammationA research team showed that a nanotherapeutic...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Researchers find key mechanism leading to vascular calcification - 'hardening of the arteries, valves or plaque'

A University of Miami Miller School of Medicine research team has uncovered a key mechanism in the development of vascular calcification, or hardening of the arteries, valves or plaque - a...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago
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Pollution levels linked to stroke-related narrowing of arteries

Air pollution has been linked to a dangerous narrowing of neck arteries that occurs prior to strokes, according to researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 5 years ago