Abstract : This article is devoted to the construction of a mathematical model describing the early formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Following the work of El Khatib, Genieys and Volpert, we model atherosclerosis as an inflammatory disease. We consider that the inflammatory process starts with the penetration of Low Density Lipoproteins cholesterol in the intima. This phenomenon is related to the local blood flow dynamics. Using a system of reaction-diffusion equations, we first provide a one-dimensional model of lesion growth. Then we perform numerical simulations on a two-dimensional geometry mimicking the carotid artery. We couple the previous mathematical model with blood flow and we provide a model in which the lesion appears in the area of lower shear stress.