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

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Does your heart stop when you hiccup?

    A:

    The heart does not skip a beat when an individual hiccups. A hiccup is an uncontrolled spasm of the diaphragm, which is the muscle between the chest and the abdomen. The intake of breath is cut off by a shutting of the vocal cords or glottis, states WebMD.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a leaking heart valve?

    A:

    According to WebMD, a leaky heart valve is a valve in the heart that leaks blood during normal contraction or relaxation. There are four valves of the heart that may become leaky.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is heart arrhythmia?

    A:

    A heart arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats faster than normal, slower than normal or in an irregular pattern, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Arrhythmias are usually not considered dangerous, but in certain cases, the condition can cause hindered blood flow to the body organs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a heart murmur?

    A:

    A heart murmur is an unusual, extra or loud sound heard by a doctor when he listens to the heart with a stethoscope. Heart murmurs are categorized as innocent, such as sounds frequently heard in children, or abnormal, which can indicate an underlying problem, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore