Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)
The thickening and hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis is a condition that usually affects the medium- and large-sized arteries of the body. The largest blood vessel, the aorta, which extends form the left ventricle of the heart and supplies oxygenated blood to all of bodys tissue via its many branches, is no exception. When severely affected by atherosclerosis, the flow of blood through the aorta can be hindered and oxygen deficiency (ischemia) or gangrene can develop. Atherosclerosis is also the primary underlying cause of heart attacks, strokes, and aortic aneurysms, which are blood-filled dilations of the vessel wall. The rupture of an aneurysm can be deadly due to the hemorrhaging it causes.