What Is Atherosclerotic Calcification?

Atherosclerotic calcification is another name for arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that occurs when cholesterol, or plaque, becomes deposited on the walls of arteries, as eMedicineHealth explains. As the walls of the arteries are covered with plaque, the available space in the artery for blood flow shrinks.

If atherosclerotic calcification occurs in the arteries leading from the heart, it can result in angina, congestive heart failure or heart attack. When it occurs in the brain, the result can be a stroke or a transient ischemic attack, sometimes known as a mini-stroke, according to eMedicineHealth. Artherosclerotic calcification may begin as early as childhood and can become severe by the age of 40 or 50 for those with a genetic history of high cholesterol.