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Artery of Atherosclerotic Plaque

This image illustrates an atherosclerotic plaque, as found in this cross-section of a muscular artery, with the plaque forming on the inside wall. Atherosclerosis is a disease affecting arterial blood vessels, commonly referred to as a "hardening" of blood vessels, but this is an oversimplification. Vascular lesions known as atheromas (or atheromata or atheromatous plaques) develop in the vessel wall and in late stages may suddenly rupture and reduce or totally stop blood flow in the lumen (stenosis), leading to damage of the tissue downstream which has lost the needed circulation.

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