Atherosclerosis and its treatment
What Are the Types of Atherosclerosis?
Causes and Risk factors
Diagnosing atherosclerosis
Treatment continued...
Nonmedical Treatment and Prevention
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Atherosclerosis and its treatment

1. Atherosclerosis and its treatment

Prepared by: Imangali Maira
The faculty of General medicine
Checked by : Tilembaeva A.A.

2. plan

2) What Are the Types of Atherosclerosis?
3) Causes and Risk factors
5) Diagnosing atherosclerosis
6) Treatment
7) Treatment continued...
8) Nonmedical Treatment and Prevention
10) Sources


Atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the
arteries that can significantly reduce the
blood supply to vital organs such as the
heart, brain and intestines. In
atherosclerosis, the arteries are
narrowed when fatty deposits called
plaques build up inside. Plaques
typically contain cholesterol from lowdensity lipoproteins (LDL), smoothmuscle cells and fibrous tissue, and
sometimes calcium.

4. What Are the Types of Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis occurs when fat, cholesterol, and calcium harden in your arteries.
Atherosclerosis can occur in an artery anywhere in your body, including your heart, legs,
and kidneys.
Other types of atherosclerosis are:
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease occurs when the coronary arteries of your heart become hard.
The coronary arteries are blood vessels that provide your heart’s muscle tissue with
oxygen and blood. Plaque prevents blood flow to the heart.
Carotid Artery Disease
The carotid arteries are found in your neck and supply blood to your brain. These
arteries may be compromised if plaque builds up in their walls. The lack of circulation
may reduce how much blood and oxygen reaches your brain’s tissue and cells.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Your legs, arms, and lower body depend on your arteries to supply blood and oxygen to
their tissues. Hardened arteries can cause circulation problems in these areas of the
Kidney Disease
The renal arteries supply blood to your kidneys. Kidneys filter waste products and extra
water from your blood. Atherosclerosis of these arteries may lead to kidney failure.

5. Causes and Risk factors

Atherosclerosis can begin during childhood
and progress slowly into adulthood. The
following can damage the artery walls or
promote plaque formation:
High cholesterol. High levels of low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increase the
chance of plaque formation.
High fat. Elevated levels of triglycerides (a
type of fat) in the blood increase the risk of
High blood pressure. Chronic high blood
pressure can damage the coronary arteries
and lead to atherosclerosis.
Smoking. Smoking promotes plaque formation
by damaging the arteries.
Inflammation. Inflammation due to injury or
another underlying condition enhances the
chance of developing atherosclerosis.
Family history. The risk of atherosclerosis in
higher for individuals with a family history of
heart disease.


Atherosclerosis may not produce symptoms
until it is at an advanced stage, at which time
medical attention is needed. Symptoms vary
depending on the affected artery.
Coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis in arteries
that carry blood to the heart may cause chest
pain and pressure – also symptoms of a heart
Carotid arteries. Atherosclerosis in arteries
that carry blood to the brain can lead to
numbness in the limbs, droopy facial muscles,
dizziness, and difficulty speaking.
Peripheral arteries. Atherosclerosis in arteries
that carry blood to the arms, legs, and pelvis
can cause pain while walking, numbness and,
in men, erectile dysfunction.
Renal arteries. Atherosclerosis in arteries that
carry blood to the kidneys can cause kidney

7. Diagnosing atherosclerosis

Those who are at risk of developing atherosclerosis should be tested, as the symptoms don't show until
cardiovascular disease develops. A diagnosis will be based on the medical history of a patient, test results
and a physical exam.
Blood tests - these measure how much sugar, fat and protein there is in your blood. If there are high levels of
fat and sugar it can be an indicator that you're at risk of developing the condition.
Physical exam
• The doctor will listen to the arteries using a stethoscope to see if there is an unusual "whooshing" sound
reflecting turbulence of flow - called a bruit. If a bruit is heard then it can mean there is plaque obstructing
blood flow.
• There may also be a very weak pulse below the area of the artery that has narrowed. Sometimes there is no
detectable pulse.
• An affected limb may have abnormally low blood pressure
• There may be signs of an aneurysm (pulsating bulge) behind the patient's knee or in their abdomen
• Where blood flow is restricted, wounds may not heal properly
Ultrasound - an ultrasound scanner is able to create a picture of the inside of your body using sound waves.
It can check your blood pressure at distinct parts of the body; changes in pressure indicate where arteries
may have obstruction of blood flow.
Computed tomography (CT) scan - A CT scan uses X-ray images to create detailed pictures of the inside
parts of the body. It can be used to find arteries that are hardened and narrowed.

8. Treatment

There is no cure for atherosclerosis, but treatment can slow or
halt the worsening of the disease
If you have high cholesterol that cannot be controlled by diet
and exercise, medication may be necessary. The best
medicine to lower cholesterol is a statin, also known as a HMGCoA reductase inhibitor. Statins block an enzyme called HMGCoA reductase, which controls the production of cholesterol in
the liver. Examples include:
• Lovastatin (Mevacor)
• Simvastatin (Zocor)
• Pravastatin (Pravachol)
• Fluvastatin (Lescol)
• Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
• Rosuvastatin (Crestor)

9. Treatment continued...

Other drugs used to lower total cholesterol, usually added to a statin, include:
• Niacin
• Fibrates, such as gemfibrozil (Lopid) and fenofibrate (Tricor)
• Cholesterol-absorption inhibitor, such as ezetimibe (Zetia)
Once symptoms of atherosclerosis-related organ damage develop, the specific treatment depends on
the organ involved:
• Heart — Treatments for coronary artery disease include medications to manage symptoms of angina
(nitrates, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers) and prevent heart attacks (aspirin and betablockers); balloon angioplasty often with wire mesh stents; and, less commonly, coronary artery
bypass surgery.
• Brain — Treatments to help prevent transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and stroke include antiplatelet
medications such as aspirin, dipyridamole and clopidogrel (Plavix), and anticoagulant medications
such as warfarin and heparin.
• Abdomen — When atherosclerosis narrows arteries that supply the bowel, the patient may be
treated with balloon angioplasty with or without stents or a bypass arterial graft.
• Legs — The mainstays of treatment for intermittent claudication are quitting smoking, exercise
(usually a walking program), and aspirin. People with severe arterial narrowing may be treated
with balloon angioplasty with or without stents, laser angioplasty, atherectomy or bypass

10. Nonmedical Treatment and Prevention

Lifestyle changes can help to prevent as well as treat atherosclerosis.
Unless your atherosclerosis is severe, your doctor may recommend
lifestyle changes as the first line of treatment. Lifestyle changes
• eating a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol
• avoiding fatty foods
• adding fish to your diet twice per week
• exercising for 30 to 60 minutes per day, six days per week
• quitting smoking if you’re a smoker
• losing weight if you’re overweight or obese
• managing stress
• treating conditions associated with atherosclerosis, such as
hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes


The best way to prevent atherosclerosis is by staying physically active, maintaining
a healthy weight, and making smart food choices – that is, eating plenty of fruits
and vegetables and avoiding foods high in cholesterol, fat and salt. It is also
important to avoid smoking and stress-inducing activities. Individuals with a high
risk of developing heart disease may consult their physician to determine the ideal
preventative plan.

12. sources

• “What is Atherosclerosis”. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. NIH. Jul 2011.
Retrieved Jun 6, 2014.
“Thrombolytic therapy”. Medline Plus. Jun 2012. Retrieved Jun 6, 2014.
“What Are Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases?” National Institute of Arthritis and
Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). NIH. Jul 2009. Retrieved Jun 2, 2014.
National Institutes of Health, USA; National Health Service, UK; Wikipedia; American
Heart Association
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, May 30). Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis. Retrieved
Mayo Clinic Staff. (April 21, 2010). Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Retrieved from
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