Atherosclerosis — commonly known as hardening of the arteries — is an accumulation of plaque deposits in the lining of the arteries — the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. It affects nearly 4.6 million Americans.
As a recognized leader in cardiovascular care, the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers innovative treatment techniques for atherosclerosis and other heart and blood vessel conditions.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
Atherosclerosis, also referred to as arteriosclerosis, causes a hardening of the arteries due to plaque build-up.
Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.
As plaque builds up, it causes the arteries to narrow and harden, slowing — and even stopping — blood flow.
Arteriosclerosis is a serious condition that can lead to:
At the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, we can screen people for atherosclerosis risk factors and provide treatments to minimize the risks.
Common risk factors for atherosclerosis include:
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers standard and minimally invasive approaches to treat:
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Atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular (heart) disease with no visible symptoms, and it often remains undetected until the arteries leading to a vital organ are blocked.
When a blockage occurs, symptoms vary — depending on the location of affected arteries — and may include:
If you have atherosclerosis symptoms, your doctor at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute will ask you questions during your physical exam to help determine what arteries might be affected.
Following your exam, you may need to have additional tests to help confirm a diagnosis of atherosclerosis, such as:
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to expect your test results and will call you when they're available.
Learn More About Atherosclerosis Symptoms and Testing
Medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery may be helpful in treating atherosclerosis.
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute's multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, radiologists, surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, and nutritionists provides a full range of advanced atherosclerosis treatments.
Treatments focus on:
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers educational information and videos about atherosclerosis and other heart and vascular diseases and treatments.
Many people find these resources helpful in answering their questions about their condition and preparing them for their procedure or diagnostic test.
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