Hardening of the arteries

Atherosclerosis; Arteriosclerosis; Plaque buildup - arteries; Hyperlipidemia - atherosclerosis; Cholesterol - atherosclerosis

Hardening of the arteries, also called atherosclerosis, occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries. These deposits are called plaques. Over time, these plaques can narrow or completely block the arteries and cause problems throughout the body.

Hardening of the arteries is a common disorder.

Carotid stenosis, X-ray of the left artery

A carotid arteriogram is an X-ray study designed to determine if there is narrowing or other abnormality in the carotid artery, a main artery to the brain. This is an angiogram of the left common carotid artery (both front-to-back and side views) showing a severe narrowing (stenosis) of the internal carotid artery just beyond the division of the common carotid artery into the internal and external branches.

Carotid stenosis, X-ray of the right artery

This is an angiogram of the right carotid artery showing a severe narrowing (stenosis) of the internal carotid artery just past the carotid fork. There is enlargement of the vein or ulceration in the area after the stenosis in this close-up film. Note the narrowed segment toward the bottom of the picture.

Enlarged view of atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries in which fatty material and plaque are deposited in the wall of an artery, resulting in narrowing of the arterial lumen and eventual impairment of blood flow.

Prevention of heart disease

Heart disease may be prevented by recommended healthy diet, regular exercise and to stop smoking if you are a smoker. Follow your health care provider's recommendations for treatment and prevention of heart disease.

Developmental process of atherosclerosis

The development of arterial atherosclerosis may occur when deposits of cholesterol and plaque accumulate at a tear in the inner lining of an artery. As the deposits harden and occlude the arterial lumen, blood flow to distant tissues decreases and a clot may become lodged, completely blocking the artery.

Angina

Angina is a specific type of pain in the chest caused by inadequate blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) of the heart muscle (myocardium).

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries in which fatty material is deposited in the vessel wall, resulting in narrowing and eventual impairment of blood flow. Severely restricted blood flow in the arteries to the heart muscle leads to symptoms such as chest pain. Atherosclerosis shows no symptoms until a complication occurs.

Cholesterol producers

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like material that is found in all parts of the body. It comes from two sources: our liver produces it, and we consume it in meat and dairy products.

Coronary artery balloon angioplasty - Series

The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. The right coronary artery supplies both the left and the right heart; the left coronary artery supplies the left heart.

Facts, risk factors, causes and treatment of atherosclerosis.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications