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What treatment options are likely for hardening of the arteries

By January 15, 2010 - 7:33am
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Hi, thanks for the information - yes I went for a cardiac perfusion imaging test & the doctor in nuclear science told me that the test indicated hardening of the arteries, (& suggested I refrain from strenuous activity until I speak to my physician). I have not seen my doctor yet to discuss the results as he will not receive the report until next week. I wanted to know what questions to ask when I do see him.

January 15, 2010 - 2:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Cathiet

Thank you for your question!

Our page on hardening of the arteries (otherwise known as arteriosclerosis) talks about treatment and prevention. Here's what it has to say :

Treatment may include:

These include:

◦Drugs to interfere with the formation of blood clots, such as aspirin or clopidogril (Plavix)
◦Drugs to control blood pressure if elevated
◦Drugs to lower cholesterol if elevated
◦Drugs that improve the flow of blood through narrowed arteries, such as cilostazol (Pletal) or pentoxifylline (Trental)

Catheter-based Procedures
These procedures involve a thin tube, called a catheter, that is inserted into an artery. They are most often done for coronary artery disease, but may be used to treat atherosclerosis elsewhere in the body as well. These procedures include:

◦Balloon angioplasty —a balloon-tipped catheter is used to press plaque against the walls of the arteries. This increases the amount of space for the blood to flow.
◦Stenting—usually done after angioplasty; a wire mesh tube is placed in a damaged artery to support the arterial walls and keep them open.
◦Atherectomy —instruments inserted via a catheter are used to cut away and remove plaque so that blood can flow more easily. This procedure is infrequently done these days.

Surgical options include:

◦Endarterectomy —removal of the lining of an artery obstructed with large plaques. This is often done in carotid arteries of the neck, which bring blood to the brain.
◦Arterioplasty— repair of an aneurysm , usually done with synthetic tissue
◦Bypass —creation of an alternate route through a separate vessel for blood to flow

PreventionThere are a number of ways to prevent, as well as reverse, atherosclerosis. They include:

◦Eat a healthful diet, one that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
◦Exercise regularly.
◦Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, lose weight.
◦Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit.
◦Control diabetes.
◦If your doctor recommends it, take medication to reduce your risk factors (for example, for high blood pressure or high cholesterol).
◦Talk to your doctor about screening tests for atherosclerotic disease of the heart (coronary artery disease) if you have risk factors.

You can read through our Atherosclerosis page here : http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/atherosclerosis

Also, here is an interesting article on the roles of Vitamins C and E and atherosclerosis:


Cathiet, are you asking for yourself? If you have this diagnosis, has your doctor suggested any of the above for your treatment?

January 15, 2010 - 1:25pm
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