Is atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis used to mean the same which is a plaque of cholesterol that hardens?

the arteries? When seeking info, I've seen both terms used almost interchangeably, except that arteriosclerosis is only referred to cholesterol plaque, as opposed to atherosclerosis which is cholesterol, calcium, platelets, and other debris in the blood. Both were referred as "hardening of the arteries".

what is the technically correct usage of these terms.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Atherosclerosis refers to the fatty, or atheromatous, plaque that can build up in arteries. "athero-" is loosly defined as "greasy tumor" and "-sclerosis" means "hardening".

    Arteriosclerosis literally means hardening of the artery, and this term includes the condition caused by atherosclerotic plaque as well as the accompanying changes in the wall and smooth muscle of the artery itself.

    The terms are often used interchangeably, but I believe atherosclerosis is more specific and arteriosclerosis is more inclusive of the plaque as well as the condition of the artery itself.

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