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A condition of hardening: Scleroderma | Conditions | UCSF Health

What is Atherosclerosis, or Hardening of the Arteries? | Blog

One of the most common conditions affecting arteries and blood flow is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a condition that mainly affects older adults. What is atherosclerosis, how does it start, and how is it treated? Atherosclerosis is a common condition that can frequently lead to dangerous complications like heart attack and stroke. Having a better understanding of the condition and making necessary lifestyle changes is the best way to minimize its impact.

It can be difficult to imagine why hardened arteries have such an impact. Arteries need to be highly elastic to move blood through the body. The blockage and reduction of blood flow are impacted both by reduced internal area but also the artery’s increased rigidity. This impact on blood flow is why atherosclerosis can be such a dangerous condition if left unchecked.

What is Hardening of the Arteries?

What is hardening of the arteries? Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, happens when fat, cholesterol and other substances collect along the artery walls. These substances, typically called plaque, can narrow or completely block an artery over time. Plaque clots will form and pieces of plaque will move down smaller blood vessels and block them. These blockages starve tissues of blood or oxygen, which can result in damage or tissue death. This is a common cause of heart attack and stroke.

Atherosclerosis is the most common thread of arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is a range of conditions that affect the artery wall’s thickness and elasticity. The development of Atherosclerosis is complex, but the primary cause is an injury to the artery wall. This injury can be caused by many different factors like inflammatory immune response, infection, or chemical abnormalities in the blood. 

Certain chemical signals cause white blood cells to attach to the artery wall, where plaque begins to accumulate. Over time, this plaque build-up narrows the space in the artery itself. While some factors (like gender, age, or history of early atherosclerosis) can’t be changed, other factors can. To lower atherosclerosis risk, it’s recommended to refrain from tobacco use and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes diet and exercise. People at high risk for atherosclerosis may also benefit from certain medications like statins, aspirin, or other antiplatelet drugs.

What Causes Hardening of the Arteries?

What causes the hardening of the arteries? Atherosclerosis can be caused by a number of factors. A major cause is aging and plaque build-up. This narrows the arteries and changes the ability for blood to flow through them. Lifestyle factors like high blood cholesterol levels can increase atherosclerosis at any age. This is especially true for people who eat a diet too high in saturated fats and trans fats. Other factors that can lead to atherosclerosis include diabetes, family history, high blood pressure, a lack of exercise, being overweight or obese, and smoking.

Prevent Atherosclerosis

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see signs of an artery blockage until it’s too late. While Atherosclerosis cannot be reversed, there are steps that can be taken to lessen its impact. 

See your doctor regularly. If you’re a male, screen your cholesterol by age 35, If you’re a female, screen your cholesterol by age 45. Get your blood pressure checked at least once a year after that. Check your blood pressure more frequently if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or have had a previous stroke. 

Eating a balanced diet, getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, and quitting smoking are all preventive measures for atherosclerosis. Talk to your doctor about options with cholesterol-lowering medication or blood thinners. 

If you’re struggling with complications related to atherosclerosis, you should consult your healthcare provider or vascular specialist. If found early enough, the impact of atherosclerosis can be reduced or mitigated with lifestyle changes and medication. If you’re in the Southern San Joaquin Valley area, visit South Valley Vascular. South Valley Vascular’s board-certified vascular specialists provide top-level care to all its patients.

Atherosclerosis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Atherosclerosis, sometimes called “hardening of the arteries,” occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries. These deposits are called plaques. Over time, these plaques can narrow or completely block the arteries and cause problems throughout the body.

Atherosclerosis is a common disorder.

Watch this video about:Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis often occurs with aging. As you grow older, plaque buildup narrows your arteries and makes them stiffer. These changes make it harder for blood to flow through them.

Clots may form in these narrowed arteries and block blood flow. Pieces of plaque can also break off and move to smaller blood vessels, blocking them.

These blockages starve tissues of blood and oxygen. This can result in damage or tissue death. It is a common cause of heart attack and stroke.

High blood cholesterol levels can cause hardening of the arteries at a younger age.

For many people, high cholesterol levels are due to a diet that is too high in saturated fats and trans fats.

Other factors that can contribute to hardening of the arteries include:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of hardening of the arteries
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking

Atherosclerosis does not cause symptoms until blood flow to part of the body becomes slowed or blocked.

If the arteries supplying the heart become narrow, blood flow can slow down or stop. This can cause chest pain (stable angina), shortness of breath, and other symptoms.

Narrowed or blocked arteries may also cause problems in the intestines, kidneys, legs, and brain.

A health care provider will perform a physical exam and listen to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Atherosclerosis can create a whooshing or blowing sound (“bruit”) over an artery.

All adults over the age of 18 should have their blood pressure checked every year. More frequent measurement may be needed for those with a history of high blood pressure readings or those with risk factors for high blood pressure.

Cholesterol testing is recommended in all adults. The major national guidelines differ on the suggested age to start testing.

  • Screening should begin between ages 20 to 35 for men and ages 20 to 45 for women.
  • Repeat testing is not needed for five years for most adults with normal cholesterol levels.
  • Repeat testing may be needed if lifestyle changes occur, such as large increase in weight or a change in diet.
  • More frequent testing is needed for adults with a history of high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney problems, heart disease, stroke, and other conditions

A number of imaging tests may be used to see how well blood moves through your arteries.

  • Doppler tests that use ultrasound or sound waves
  • Magnetic resonance arteriography (MRA), a special type of MRI scan
  • Special CT scans called CT angiography
  • Arteriograms or angiography that use x-rays and contrast material (sometimes called “dye”) to see the path of blood flow inside the arteries

Lifestyle changes will reduce your risk for atherosclerosis. Things you can do include:

  • Quit smoking: This is the single most important change you can make to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Avoid fatty foods: Eat well-balanced meals that are low in fat and cholesterol. Include several daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Adding fish to your diet at least twice a week may be helpful. However, do not eat fried fish.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink: Recommended limits are one drink a day for women, two a day for men.
  • Get regular physical activity: Exercise with moderate intensity (such as brisk walking) 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day if you are at a healthy weight. For weight loss, exercise for 60 to 90 minutes a day. Talk to your provider before starting a new exercise plan, especially if you have been diagnosed with heart disease or you have ever had a heart attack.

If your blood pressure is high, it is important for you to lower it and keep it under control.

The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of health problems caused by high blood pressure. You and your provider should set a blood pressure goal for you.

  • Do not stop or change high blood pressure medicines without talking to your provider.

Your provider may want you to take medicine for abnormal cholesterol levels or for high blood pressure if lifestyle changes do not work. This will depend on:

  • Your age
  • The medicines you take
  • Your risk of side effects from possible medicines
  • Whether you have heart disease or other blood flow problems
  • Whether you smoke or are overweight
  • Whether you have diabetes or other heart disease risk factors
  • Whether you have any other medical problems, such as kidney disease

Your provider may suggest taking aspirin or another medicine to help prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries. These medicines are called antiplatelet drugs. DO NOT take aspirin without first talking to your provider.

Losing weight if you are overweight and reducing blood sugar if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes can help reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis cannot be reversed once it has occurred. However, lifestyle changes and treating high cholesterol levels can prevent or slow the process from becoming worse. This can help reduce the chances of having a heart attack and stroke as a result of atherosclerosis.

In some cases, the plaque is part of a process that causes a weakening of the wall of an artery. This can lead to a bulge in an artery called an aneurysm. Aneurysms can break open (rupture). This causes bleeding that can be life threatening.

Hardening of the arteries; Arteriosclerosis; Plaque buildup – arteries; Hyperlipidemia – atherosclerosis; Cholesterol – atherosclerosis

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair – open – discharge
  • Aortic aneurysm repair – endovascular – discharge
  • Aspirin and heart disease
  • Heart failure – discharge
  • Heart failure – what to ask your doctor
  • High blood pressure – what to ask your doctor
  • Type 2 diabetes – what to ask your doctor
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid stenosis – X-ray of the left artery
  • Carotid stenosis – X-ray of the right artery
  • Enlarged view of atherosclerosis
  • Prevention of heart disease
  • Developmental process of atherosclerosis

Arnett DK, Blumenthal RS, Albert MA, Buroker AB, et al. 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;74(10):1376-1414. PMID: 30894319 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30894319/.

Genest J, Mora S, Libby P. Lipoprotein disorders and cardiovascular disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 27.

Libby P. The vascular biology of atherosclerosis. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022: chap 24.

Marks AR. Cardiac and circulatory function. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 47.

US Preventive Services Task Force website. Final recommendation statement: statin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults: preventive medication. Updated November 13, 2016. Accessed April 5, 2022. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/statin-use-in-adults-preventive-medication1.

Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018;71(19):2199-2269. PMID: 2914653 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29146533/.

Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A. D.A.M. Editorial team.

SOLIDIFICATION POINT | Encyclopedia Krugosvet

SOLIDIFICATION POINT (solidification point) is the temperature at which a liquid turns into a solid.

For a pure substance, it coincides with its melting point, i.e. transition temperature from solid to liquid. Only pure crystalline substances have a strictly defined solidification temperature.

Amorphous, i.e. non-crystalline substances (for example, glass, butter) solidify (and melt) in a certain temperature range. For such substances, a distinction is made between the solidification and melting temperatures: the solidification temperature is understood as the temperature at which the first signs of a solid phase appear in the system upon cooling or the last traces of it disappear upon heating, and the melting point is the lowest temperature at which the solid phase disappears during cooling. the last traces of the liquid phase or when heated, the first signs of it appear. The solidification point of most substances changes slightly with pressure: as a rule, it rises with increasing pressure.

Mixtures of liquids, such as water and alcohols, also solidify (freeze) over a wide range of temperatures, and their freezing point is always lower than that of the pure component with a higher freezing point. Therefore, ethyl alcohol (freezing point -130 ° C) and ethylene glycol (freezing point -25 ° C) are widely used as one of the components of antifreeze in the cooling system of automobiles.

The temperature at which the last traces of a liquid mixture freezes can be much lower than the component with a lower freezing point.

Some substances, such as iodine and paradichlorobenzene, pass from a solid state immediately into a gaseous state (sublimate). They have neither a melting point nor a solidification point.

Solidification (melting point) of certain substances

(at sea level)


Temperature, °С





Isopropyl alcohol


Methyl alcohol

-97. 8

Sea water






Ethylene glycol


Ethyl alcohol




Under certain conditions, liquids can be cooled below their true solidification temperature without solidification. Such liquids are called supercooled. Since a solid cannot be “overheated” so that it does not become a liquid, the melting and solidification temperatures are usually determined experimentally from the melt. This avoids the error due to liquid subcooling. For the same reasons, in the scientific and technical literature, when describing the physical properties of a substance, the term “melting point” is preferred. See also BOILING POINT; HEAT; LIQUID THEORY.

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OFS. Solidification temperature – Pharmacopoeia.rf


The solidification temperature is the temperature at which a substance changes from a liquid to a solid state upon cooling. Two methods are used to determine the solidification temperature.

Instead of GF
XII , part 1, OFS 42-0035-07

The solidification temperature is the temperature at which a substance changes from a liquid to a solid state upon cooling. Two methods are used to determine the solidification temperature.

Procedure 1

Place a sufficient amount (about 10 g) of the test substance in the liquid state into the dry inner test tube of instrument 1 (Fig. 1) (the solid is preliminarily melted at a temperature not exceeding 20 °C of the expected solidification temperature) and strengthened so that the mercury ball was in the middle of the layer of the test substance. Then the inner tube with the test substance is placed in the outer tube and, with rapid cooling, the approximate solidification temperature is determined. After that, the outer tube, together with the inner tube, is placed in a water bath at a temperature of 5 °C above the approximately determined solidification temperature until the test substance is completely melted. Then fill the beaker with water or saturated sodium chloride solution at a temperature 5 °C below the expected solidification temperature. Place the outer tube together with the inner tube in a beaker. With constant stirring of the test substance, note the temperature every 30 s. Initially, there is a gradual decrease in temperature, then when a solid phase appears, it remains constant for a while or rises before becoming constant (at this point, stirring is stopped), and then falls again. The highest temperature is noted, which remains constant for a short time during the transition of a substance from a liquid to a solid state. This temperature is taken as the solidification temperature.

If the substance remains liquid at the expected solidification temperature, cool it 1 to 2 °C below the expected solidification temperature and induce solidification by introducing small amounts (several crystals) of the substance to be tested or by rubbing the walls of the inner tube with a thermometer.

Dimensions in mm

fig.1 a test tube with an inner diameter of about 25 mm and a length of about 150 mm, placed inside another test tube with a diameter of about 40 mm and a length of about 160 mm. The inner test tube is closed with a stopper equipped with a thermometer about 175 mm long with a division value of 0.2 °C, which is fixed in such a way that the mercury ball is located at a distance of about 15 mm from the bottom of the test tube. The inner tube has a hole through which passes a stirrer shaft made of a glass rod or other suitable material, bent at the end at a right angle in the form of a loop, the outer diameter of which is about 18 mm. The inner tube, together with the outer tube, is placed in the center of a 1 L beaker containing a suitable coolant, the level of which is about 20 mm apart. The cooling bath should also be equipped with a thermometer.

Method 2

For solids with a high solidification point between +30 and +100 °C (paraffins and high-melting crystalline solids).

The test substance, melted in a water bath or in a thermostat at a temperature of 15 – 20 °C above the expected solidification temperature, is thoroughly mixed and poured into a heated apparatus 2 (Fig. 2) to ¾ of its height. The temperature of the test substance after being placed in the instrument shall exceed the expected solidification temperature by at least 8 °C. A thermometer is inserted into the hole of the device on a cork along the axis of the device so that the mercury ball of the thermometer is approximately at half the height of the layer of molten substance. Leave the device until the temperature reaches 3 – 4 °C above the solidification temperature.