If an artery is completely blocked, that artery is unable to provide blood (and essential oxygen) to the part of the body it is in charge of. Without oxygen, cell death in the affected area is likely to occur.
Narrowed arteries are responsible for several conditions including:
- Coronary artery disease
- Angina (chronic and/or severe chest pain)
- Changes to blood pressure
- Hypoxia (too little oxygen in a given tissue region)
- Tissue death
Narrowed arteries may also lead to a blocked or burst artery. The latter is a serious medical emergency. If the burst artery was supplying blood to the brain, a stroke results. If the burst artery was supplying blood to a section of the heart, a heart attack occurs.
Muscles and tissues require oxygen for continued survival. When a coronary (heart) artery is compromised, the heart cannot adequately deliver blood—and therefore oxygen—to a given region of the body.
Blocked arteries are arteries that have gone from narrowed to completely blocked. A completely blocked artery is one in which the build-up of plaque has effectively closed the blood’s passage. A heart attack generally results.