Q:

What is a heart lesion?

A:

Quick Answer

A heart lesion is any stress or trauma delivered to the interior walls of the heart, resulting in tissue damage. This damage causes inflammation, which signals the body's immune response. These dangerous lesions are the forerunner of a disease known as atherosclerosis.

Know More
What is a heart lesion?
Credit: Universal Images Group Editorial Universal Images Group Getty Images

Full Answer

According to research at the National Institutes of Health, inflammation plays a key role in the development of plaque in the heart muscle. Inflammation causes monocytes, released during an immune response, to stick to the lesion. The accumulation of monocytes and other cells create a sticky plaque in the heart. As blood flows through the heart, substances such as fats, cholesterol and fibrin adhere to the plaque and cause the plaque to grow.

The growth of plaque causes arteries to narrow and harden. The resulting condition is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis limits the amount of blood that flows through the heart, which can lead to heart attack, stroke or other ailments. Atherosclerosis is also a major contributor to the death toll from cardiovascular disease, which claims over 600,000 lives every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To minimize the risk of atherosclerosis, the CDC recommends smoking cessation, exercise and a diet low in cholesterol, salt and fat.

Learn more in Cardiac Health

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you lower blood pressure?

    A:

    It is possible to lower blood pressure by exercising regularly, making dietary changes, reducing stress, losing excess weight, avoiding tobacco products and drinking alcohol in moderation, according to the American Heart Association. Several types of drugs are also available to treat high blood pressure that does not respond to lifestyle modifications.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you treat high blood pressure?

    A:

    Treatment of high blood pressure involves a number of lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy body weight, managing stress, quitting smoking, getting regular exercise and limiting alcohol consumption. While prescription medications may also be necessary, these changes to the lifestyle are a must, notes the American Heart Association.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long can you live after your heart stops?

    A:

    An individual can live approximately 3 to 6 minutes after the heart stops, according to HowStuffWorks and About.com. If the heart stops and the individual has not been resuscitated after about 6 minutes, the brain starts to die because of the lack of oxygen.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a heart aneurysm?

    A:

    A heart aneurysm is a blister-like swelling that forms on a weakened area of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body, according to WebMD. Smaller aneurysms are usually not considered dangerous; however, larger aneurysms that form blood clots can lead to stroke if they become dislodged.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore