Autopsy Q&A by Dr. Stöppler

Can you tell me what arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease is and can you tell if this is present from an autopsy? That was the cause of my father's death.


Arteriosclerosis is hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries. This condition can occur because of fatty deposits on the inner lining of arteries (atherosclerosis), calcification of the wall of the arteries, or thickening of the muscular wall of the arteries from chronically elevated blood pressure. When arteriosclerosis affects the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle, a shortage of oxygen delivered to the heart itself may lead to a heart attack.

Arteriosclerosis is a condition that can be detected by an autopsy.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 1/12/2007

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