CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Digitised light micrograph of a cross-section through an atheroma plaque in a human artery. This condition often affects the coronary artery of the heart. Here, plaque is coloured yellow; it is composed of fatty cholesterol material and fibrous connective tissue. The original wall of the artery is the surrounding red area. At centre right, the red oval within the plaque is the present much narrowed lumen of the artery through which blood can now flow. In addition to physically narrowing and blocking the arteries, atheroma plaques may cause thrombus (clot) formation, leading to a myocardial infarction or heart attack.
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