Heart disease

Heart disease

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Credit: PETER GARDINER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coronary artery disease. Artwork of a human heart, showing the formation (details) of fatty plaques (atheromas, yellow) in a coronary artery (red, arrowed). One of the main components of atheroma is the lipid cholesterol. It collects on artery walls in a disease known as atherosclerosis, causing narrowing of the vessel (upper right) and eventually blocking it completely (lower right). The coronary artery supplies oxygenated blood (orange) to the heart muscle. Blockages restrict the blood flow (small black arrows) to the muscle, which can cause chest pain (angina pectoris) or a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

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