Types of Arteriosclerosis

Focal Calcific Arteriosclerosis

Focal calcific arteriosclerosis is a form of hardening of the arteries in which calcium builds up in the middle part of the blood vessels. This condition is common in the arteries of the upper and lower extremities, as well as the genitals, for both men and women. As a result of this buildup of calcium, the arteries in people with this type of arteriosclerosis become extremely stiff. However, unlike atherosclerosis, the inside of the blood vessel does not narrow. Therefore, blood flow is not decreased and symptoms usually do not occur. In fact, for most people, this type of hardening of the arteries has no impact. Focal calcific arteriosclerosis can cause problems when it occurs along with atherosclerosis or when calcium gets deposited onto the aortic valve in the heart.
 
Focal calcific arteriosclerosis is more common in older people, people with diabetes, and those taking corticosteroids.
 

Arteriolosclerosis

Arteriolosclerosis is a type of artery hardening that affects the inside and middle layer of arteries and smaller arteries known as arterioles. The blood vessels most affected are those in the:
 
  • Adrenal glands
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys.
     
When arteriolosclerosis occurs in the kidneys, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can occur.
 

Arteriosclerosis Obliterans and Hardened Arteries

Arteriosclerosis obliterans is a type of hardening of the arteries that affects blood vessels in the arms, legs, and pelvis. Because it is caused by atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis obliterans is more commonly known as atherosclerosis of the extremities or peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
 
Arteriosclerosis obliterans is the most common type of peripheral vascular disease, which is a group of conditions that affect the arteries and veins in the extremities (arms, legs, and pelvis).
 
If the arteries that supply a person's legs, pelvis, or arms are affected by arteriosclerosis obliterans, he or she may experience symptoms that include:
 
  • Claudication (pain, ache, or cramping in the muscles that occurs during exercise but improves with rest)
     
  • Cold or numb feeling in the feet or toes, especially at night.
     
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