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University of Iowa Health Care doctors are ready to care for you—it doesn’t always have to be in person—and they know how to keep you safe. Even during the pandemic, you should get the care you need. We’re here for you.

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Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, occurs when deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol and calcium build up in the lining of an artery. This build-up hardens and is called plaque and can restrict the flow of blood through the artery.

Plaque becomes dangerous when it ruptures, forming clots that can block or stop the flow of blood to body parts. If it blocks the artery to the heart, it is called a heart attack. If it blocks the artery to the brain, it is called a stroke.

Diagnostic Steps Include:

  • Angiography
  • Arteriography
  • CT scan
  • Stress tests
  • Ultrasound

Treatment Options May Include:

  • Angioplasty with stenting
  • By-pass surgery
  • Endarterectomy
  • Medication to lower lipids and keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control
  • Minimally invasive surgery

Care Team