PETER GARDINER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER GARDINER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Narrowed blood vessel. Artwork showing a cross section of a blood vessel that is partially blocked by atheroma (yellow). Atheroma is the deposition of fatty material on the inner walls of a blood vessel. This can greatly reduce the size of the lumen (inner space) and so causes a reduction in blood flow (ischaemia) to the tissue supplied by the vessel. If the atheroma blocked an artery leading to the heart it would cause a heart attack.
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