Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide; it originates from a plaque which builds up in the artery. In this paper, we consider a simplified model of plaque growth involving LDL and HDL cholesterols, macrophages and foam cells, which satisfy a coupled system of PDEs with a free boundary, the interface between the plaque and the blood flow. We prove that there exist small radially symmetric stationary plaques and establish a sharp condition that ensures their stability. We also determine necessary and sufficient conditions under which a small initial plaque will shrink and disappear, or persist for all times.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Mathematics