Narrowed artery, illustration

Narrowed artery, illustration

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Credit: HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Narrowed artery. Cutaway computer illustration showing the interior of an artery affected by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is narrowing (stenosis) of an artery due to fatty deposits (yellow) on its inner walls. The deposits are made of atheroma, a substance comprising cholesterol, decaying cells, blood cells and fatty proteins. Narrowing of blood vessels raises blood pressure, which puts strain on the heart. Atherosclerosis is the main cause of heart attacks.

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