Formation and development (etiology) of arteriosclerosis. In case of high pressure in the vessel (hypertony) and an increased amount of specific cholesterines like LDL particles (hypercholosterinaemia), those are increasingly incorporated into the vascular endothelium, where they are phagocytized by so-called macrophages (middle picture). These deposited macrophages with LDL particles cause further inflammatory processes, that are even more intensified by harmful substances such as tobacco smoke. The deposits (plaques) gradually indurate and become hard substances that make the vascular wall inelastic ("calcification", sclerosis) and thus increase the pressure inside the vessel. If something happens that makes the plaque rupture, the plaque material encounters the coagulation factors and thrombocytes of the blood, which immediately causes a local clot formation, that depending on where it is, can cause a heart attack, a peripheral arterial closure, or an apoplexy.