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 4/30/2018
Updated by: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.