Plaque rupture

A blood clot in an artery can cause a heart attack. But what causes the blood clot?

Often it’s something called plaque rupture.  Plaque is a lump inside the artery caused by a progressive build-up of fat and cholesterol, often with calcium deposits as well.  For reasons we don’t entirely understand yet, the fibrous cap covering the plaque sometimes tears or ruptures. When that happens, the body tries to repair it, using the same method it uses to repair a cut on the knee; it forms a blood clot to seal the area.

Unfortunately, a blood clot that forms in an artery can stop blood from flowing to the heart, causing a heart attack.
Preventing plaque build-up involves eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and not smoking. Treating plaque that’s already there may involve medication or a procedure to keep the artery open.

This article is for reference purposes only – it is not designed to be, nor should it be regarded, as professional medical advice. Please consult your own medical practitioner for health advice specific to your condition.