Fibrous cap

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The fibrous cap is a layer of fibrous connective tissue, which is thicker and less cellular than the normal intima, found in atherosclerotic plaques. The fibrous cap contains macrophages and smooth muscle cells.[1] The fibrous cap of an atheroma is composed of bundles of muscle cells, macrophages, foam cells, lymphocytes, collagen and elastin.[1]

The fibrous cap is prone to rupture and ulceration which can lead to thrombosis. In advanced lesions further complications may arise including calcification of the fibrous cap.[2]


  1. ^ a b Hansson, Göran K.; Libby, Peter (July 2006). "The immune response in atherosclerosis: a double-edged sword". Nature Reviews Immunology. 6 (7): 508–519. doi:10.1038/nri1882. PMID 16778830.
  2. ^ Swirski, F. K.; Nahrendorf, M. (10 January 2013). "Leukocyte Behavior in Atherosclerosis, Myocardial Infarction, and Heart Failure". Science. 339 (6116): 161–166. doi:10.1126/science.1230719. PMC 3891792. PMID 23307733.