Peripheral Vascular Disease
In peripheral artery disease, plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries outside of the heart, often blocking blood supply to the arms and legs. Seen in this image is a cut-away into an artery in the body where the hardened, fatty material has accumulated in the lumen, or opening. This plaque impedes on the necessary tube structure of the artery, preventing blood from flowing through. As a result, one can experience poor circulation or tissue death in the part of the body where that artery's destination lies. Plaque buildup is characteristic of atherosclerosis, and can happen as a result of fatty materials such as cholesterol in the blood. As the cholesterol travels through the blood stream, it sticks to the artery walls and accumulates over time. It becomes hard and calcified, leading to detrimental results.