What is the use of plaques

Atherosclerosis (atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries)

The way and which arteries are affected determines the course of the disease and the risks for secondary diseases.

  • Macroangiopathy: small and medium-sized vessels are affected
  • Microangiopathy: affects the smallest vessels


The various secondary diseases of arteriosclerosis and possible first symptoms:


Peripheral arterial disease

Usually these arise in the arteries of the legs, but also in the hands. Initially, the vascular occlusion shows up in the form of circulatory disorders. The first noticeable symptoms of peripheral arterial occlusive disease can be the hands or legs falling asleep or the onset of numbness. The walking distances become shorter due to lower leg pain, and breaks become more frequent. At first subconsciously, "one often stops" (intermittent claudication). A persistent undersupply of oxygen leads to the death of the affected tissue (e.g. smoker's leg).


Coronary heart disease

If the coronary artery is insufficiently supplied with blood, the symptoms "angina pectoris" arise. Typical signs are tightness, tightness and pain in the chest area, as well as shortness of breath under stress. If a blood clot that has formed closes an already narrowed vessel, this leads to a heart attack. The complaints then appear at rest and can be persistent ("feeling of annihilation")


Atherosclerosis of the carotid artery and the vessels supplying the brain

If the brain is not supplied with enough blood, this often manifests itself with dizziness, thinking, memory or memory disorders. If a cerebral artery is blocked, it can develop into a stroke (cerebral infarction). If other risk factors are added, such as high blood pressure, the vessel will find it difficult to withstand the pressure, the vessel wall can tear, and cerebral haemorrhage occurs.


Narrowing of the renal arteries and arteriosclerosis of the small renal vessels 

If the kidney vessels are narrowed, high blood pressure may initially develop. In the further course, damage with loss of function and even kidney failure can occur.


Atherosclerosis of the body artery

If the vessel wall is weakened, the main artery can expand and also tear.


Atherosclerosis of the intestinal arteries 

A restricted blood supply to the intestine sometimes leads to severe digestive problems with nausea and abdominal pain. Parts of the intestine can die.