Coronary artery disease

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Coronary artery disease

Blood flow in normal coronary artery and decreased blood flow in artery narrowed by plaque build up

Coronary artery disease happens when fatty deposits called plaque (say "plak") build up inside your coronary arteries. This process of plaque buildup is called atherosclerosis.

Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to your heart muscle. Plaque buildup may reduce the amount of blood that gets to your heart. Coronary artery disease can cause angina symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure. It can lead to a heart attack. Treatment for coronary artery disease can help relieve symptoms and lower your risk of a heart attack.

Current as of: December 16, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology

Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology

Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine