Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Cardiology, Cardiovascular Surgery

Artery Plaque (5818)

Artery Plaque (5818) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Surgery


Artery Plaque

Plaques start by damage to the fragile lining of the inner walls of an artery. If blood lipid levels
are high, cholesterol forms inside the plaque. These small plaques are not found during stress
tests because they do not block blood flow enough. Further damage to the plaque causes it to
grow. Occasionally, a plaque will rupture, causing a heart attack or chest pain (angina). More
than half of all heart attacks are caused by a small plaque breaking open.

Stable plaque has a thick cap and a small lipid core. As it
grows and blocks the artery, other vessels grow in to supply
blood to the heart muscle.

Unstable plaque has a thin cap over a large lipid core. If
this cap breaks or tears, a blood clot forms. Sudden complete blockages of the vessel results in a
heart attack.

Ruptured plaque

Ruptured plaque with thrombus

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 9/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#5818.

My Cholesterol Levels Log

Name: _____________________________________________ Medical Record #: ________________________________________

Procedure/Date: _____________________________________My cholesterol-lowering medicine: __________________________

ξ Call your local doctor and schedule a visit for ____________________________. Cholesterol levels drawn sooner than this
may result in a false reading. To get an accurate test result, you need to fast 12 hours before having your blood drawn.

Blood cholesterol

My Goal





LDL (bad cholesterol)

Less than 100

Triglycerides (a form of fat)

Less than 150

HDL (good cholesterol)

More than 40

Total cholesterol
Less than 160 with blood
vessel disease
Less than 200 without
blood vessel disease

LDL Low density lipoprotein Triglycerides HDL High density lipoprotein Total cholesterol
 “Bad” cholesterol
 Builds up in arteries
 To lower LDL: eat foods
low in saturated fat and
cholesterol and take
 A form of fat
 Come from food and are
made by the body
 To lower: exercise, lose
weight, manage your blood
sugar levels, decrease
intake of alcohol, saturated
fats, and cholesterol.
 “Good” cholesterol
 Takes cholesterol away from
the arteries
 To increase HDL: exercise,
lose weight, and stop
 Number you most often
 Tells us your risk of heart