LIVING ART ENTERPRISES, LLC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIVING ART ENTERPRISES, LLC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The image shows a very severe narrowing of the internal carotid artery in a patient with arteriosclerosis. This patient suffered a stroke as a result of arteriosclerotic plaque buildup in the arteries which leads to the severe stenosis (narrowing). The area of severe narrowing has a terraced appearance which is due to a complication of the arteriosclerotic plaque called ulceration. When this occurs there is a higher incidence of stroke as a result of small particles (emboli) being dislodged from the ulcerated plaque and then travelling into the head with the blood flow of the internal carotid artery. The small particles travel in the blood vessels until they become lodged in small arteries which they block and cause a stroke.
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