This 3D illustration shows the early stages in the formation of a plaque-induced blood clot or thrombus. Damage to the endothelial cells lining the blood vessel lumen exposes a variety of platelet-activating factors, including collagen fibres, to the circulating blood. Platelets coming into contact with these factors adhere to the plaque surface and undergo dramatic morphologic changes. This is the first step in the initiation of a complex coagulation cascade leading to thrombus formation.
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© Audra Geras