From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Arteriolosclerosis or Atherosclerosis.
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 I70
MeSH D001161

Arteriosclerosis is the thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity of the walls of arteries, from the Greek αρτηρία, meaning artery, and σκληρωτικός, meaning hardened.[1] It should not be confused with atherosclerosis, which is a specific form of arteriosclerosis caused by the buildup of fatty plaques and cholesterol in the artery.


  • Arteriosclerosis obliterans is typically seen in medium and large arteries of the lower extremity. Characterized by fibrosis of the intima and calcification of the media. The lumen of the vessel may be obliterated or markedly narrowed.
  • Monckeberg's arteriosclerosis or medial calcific sclerosis is seen mostly in the elderly, commonly in arteries of the extremities. Characterized by calcification of the tunica media but without thickening of the intima or narrowing of the vessel lumen. A similar form of an intramural calcification, presenting the picture of an early phase of arteriosclerosis, appears to be induced by a number of drugs that have an antiproliferative mechanism of action.[2][3]


The origin of the arteriosclerotic lesion could be the endothelial dissemination. It is estimated that some tissue disorders may be initiation factors, combined with risk factors such as hypertension, promote more frequent occurrence of arteriosclerosis in some groups of individuals.


Treatment is often in the form of preventative measures of prophylaxis.

Drug therapy for underlying conditions, such as statins/antihyperlipidemic drugs for the treatment of high cholesterol, drugs to treat high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers, etc.), and anti-coagulant drugs, are often prescribed to help prevent arteriosclerosis. These drugs can be prescribed singularly or in combination.

Lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, stopping smoking, and moderating alcohol intake are also advised.

If the blood vessels that are narrowing are important (carotid artery, coronary artery), then surgery is an option.

There are various types of surgery:


  1. ^ "arteriosclerosis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Arterial Vascular Effects of Non-steroidal Antiphlogistic Drugs - A Biochemical Model on an Intramural Induction of Arteriosclerosis, Rainer K Liedtke, MD
  3. ^ J. G. Mönckeberg: Über die reine Mediaverkalkung der Extremitätenarterien und ihr Verhalten zur Arteriosklerose. Virchows Archiv Jg. 1903, S. 141–167
  4. ^ "Atherosclerosis -Treatment". UK NHS. Retrieved 21 November 2013.