Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Plaque (Artery)

Plaque is a buildup of cholesterol, white blood cells, calcium, and other substances in the walls of arteries. Over time, plaque narrows the artery, and the artery hardens (atherosclerosis).

Plaque sometimes reduces blood flow to the heart muscle, which can cause angina symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure. Plaque in the large artery in the neck (carotid artery stenosis) may reduce blood flow to the brain.

Plaques are covered with a fibrous cap, which may rupture if some trigger causes a surge in blood pressure or causes the artery to constrict. A person may have a heart attack or stroke if a plaque breaks open, creating a blood clot that completely blocks blood flow through the artery.

News & Events

View All

Travel Warnings and Tips for Pregnant Women

If you decide to vacation, visit old friends, or must travel for work, pregnancy shouldn’t stop you from flying or