In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Plaque Rupture

- Summary
- About plaque rupture
- Signs and symptoms
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Prevention methods
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Kerry Prewitt, M.D., FACC
Abdou Elhendy, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA
Andrew E. Lituchy, M.D., FACC


Plaque rupture is a dangerous condition in which a formation of plaque within an artery ruptures, releasing fatty particles and other non-soluble material into the bloodstream. There are several dangerous situationsPlaque rupture is the release of an unstable plaque's contents into the bloodstream. that may result from this event. After the rupture, the site of the rupture could seal over with an overlying clot, causing a potentially larger blockage in the artery. Also, the fatty particles may become lodged (as embolisms) further downstream in the artery. In either case, the result may be a heart attack or stroke.

Plaque deposits are created as part of the disease process known as atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries." During this process, the sensitive interior walls of arteries are compromised, allowing fatty streaks to form inside the artery. Over time, as the injury to the arterial wall worsens, the fatty streaks grow into fat deposits that penetrate into the artery wall. These fat deposits are made up cholesterol, white blood cells and other cell byproducts. Over time, the deposit may be covered with a relatively thick lining. Plaque rupture occurs when the lining develops a crack or tear and in the inner contents erupt into the bloodstream. This prompts formation of blood clots.

Prevention of plaque build–up is the best strategy for avoiding the dangerous effects of a plaque rupture. These preventive strategies are described in this article.

page 1 of 6 | Next Page

Review Date: 02-02-2007

Doctors recommend getting your cholesterol evaluated on a consistent...

Sharon suffered with high blood pressure, cholesterol and anxiety. So doctor Jane Sadler,...

Popular cholesterol-lowering drugs have an added benefit-- a...

It's possible that the longer a couple lives together, the more likely they are to share...

Calcium's not just about strong bones, it also helps muscles, nerves and blood flow.

Can blood flow problems be repaired?

Advice from Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Helpful tips and information on weight loss

Get answers from an expert


Home  |  Health Centers  |  Health A-Z  |  Staying Healthy  |  Diet & Fitness  |  Woman & Family  |   |   |  

also on iVision:  |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

 |   |  Site Map  |   | 

Copyright (c) 2000-2009 iVision Inc. All rights reserved. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.