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Arteriosclerosis: Wikis


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Classification and external resources
MeSH D001161

Arteriosclerosis refers to a stiffening of arteries.[1]

Arteriosclerosis is a general term describing any hardening (and loss of elasticity) of medium or large arteries (from the Greek Arterio, meaning artery, and sclerosis, meaning hardening)

It should not be confused with "arteriolosclerosis" or "atherosclerosis", which are described in greater detail below.

Also known by the name "myoconditis" which is outdated and no longer in general use.


  • Arteriolosclerosis is any hardening (and loss of elasticity) of large arteries and arterioles (small arteries). It is often due to hypertension.
  • Atherosclerosis is a hardening of an artery specifically due to an atheromatous plaque. Atherosclerosis is the most common form of arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is characterized by a thickening of the intima with plaques that can contain lipid-laden macrophages ("foam cells"). The plaques contain free lipid (cholesterol, etc.) and are prone to calcification and ulceration.
  • Arteriosclerosis obliterans is typically seen in medium and large arteries of the lower extremity. Characterized by fibrosis of the intima and calcification of the media. The lumen of the vessel may be obliterated or markedly narrowed.
  • Medial calcific sclerosis (Monckeberg’s calcific sclerosis) is seen mostly in the elderly, commonly in arteries of the thyroid and uterus. Characterized by calcification of the internal elastic lamina but without thickening of the intima or narrowing of the vessel lumen. A similar form of an intramural calcification, presenting the picture of an early phase of arteriosclerosis, appears to be induced by a number of drugs that have an antiproliferative mechanism of action.[2]



Simple English

Arteriosclerosis is a general term for a hardening of the walls of a person's larger arteries. There are various types; arteriolosclerosis, medial calcific sclerosis and arteriosclerosis obliterans. It is often seen in people with high blood pressure.


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