Fatty streak

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A fatty streak is the first grossly visible (visible to the naked eye) lesion in the development of atherosclerosis. It appears as an irregular yellow-white discoloration on the luminal surface of an artery. It consists of aggregates of foam cells, which are lipoprotein-loaded macrophages,[1] located in the intima, the innermost layer of the artery, beneath the endothelial cells that layer the lumina through which blood flows. Fatty streaks may also include T cells, aggregated platelets, and smooth muscle cells. It is the precursor lesion of atheromas that may become atheromatous plaques.[citation needed]

Almost all children older than 10 in developed countries have fatty streaks, with coronary fatty streaks beginning in adolescence.[2]


  1. ^ Guyton, Arthur C.; Hall, John E. (2006). Textbook of Medical Physiology (11th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders. p. 849. ISBN 978-0-7216-0240-0.
  2. ^ Kumar, Vinay; Abbas, Abul K.; Fausto, Nelson; & Mitchell, Richard N. (2007). Robbins Basic Pathology (8th ed.). Saunders Elsevier. pp. 348-351 ISBN 978-1-4160-2973-1