Bone marrow in blood vessels may turn into bone in advanced age, a UT Arlington researchers has found. The bone-like particles found in blood vessels may contribute to heart attacks, strokes, and inadequate blood supply to limbs.
UTA scientist Rhonda Prisby made the discovery, which was published in the journal Microcirculation. “By examining seemingly unrelated images and linking the details of them together, I was able to posit the presence of bone-like particles in the blood,” Prisby said via release. “In fact, some of the ossified particles are large enough to clog the smallest blood vessels in the vascular tree.”
Heart disease is the top killer in the US, and vascular calcification is a common factor for morbidity and mortality. Understanding how these fragments form and how to treat them could help physicians reduce the impact of heart disease. “Some of the ossified particles have sharp tips and edges that could damage the lining of blood vessels,” Prisby said via release. “This damage could initiate events leading to atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque), which can restrict blood flow over time.