Atherosclerosis, light micrograph

Atherosclerosis, light micrograph

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Credit: CNRI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Y

Caption: Atherosclerosis. Light micrograph of a section through a human coronary artery with atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a build-up of fatty plaques on the walls of arteries. The fibrolipid atheroma plaque (orange) is composed of areas of fatty and fibrous tissue. This narrows the lumen of vessel (white area), causing reduced or irregular blood flow. In the coronary vessels this produces angina pectoris (chest pain due to lack of oxygen to the heart muscle). Atherosclerosis also increases the chance of clot formation, which can block a coronary artery resulting in heart attack.

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