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Plaque buildup in arteries

Plaque buildup in arteries

Overview

A heart attack or stroke may occur when an area of plaque (atherosclerosis) ruptures and a clot forms over the location, blocking the flow of blood to the organ's tissues.

Review Date 6/25/2020

Updated by: Micaela Iantorno, MD MSc FAHA RPVI, Interventional Cardiologist at Mary Washington Hospital Center, Fredericksburg, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.