In the beginning the arteriosclerosis, the "vascular calcification", is a "silent" or "creeping" change in the arterial vessels, in which the inner wall of the vessels thickens and the inner diameter of the vessel is reduced. The blood can no longer flow properly and sufficiantly, what can lead to circulatory problems such as stroke, heart attack and claudication. Arteriosclerosis is the most common vascular disorder. The associated cardiovascular diseases are in the top of death statistics in Germany.
As part of the vascular check, we offer the MRI-Angiography of individual regions (head, neck, abdomen, pelvis and legs) or of the full body. For the coronaries we offer the calcium score analysis and the virtual CT-angiography of the coronaries with 3-D documentation, see cardiac screening. They are used for early detection of vascular changes. By starting the appropriate therapies in time it is possible to avoid the outbreak of cardiovascular diseases.
Risk factors of arteriosclerosis
- high fat and high caloric diet
- lack of exercise
- genetic predisposition
- high blood pressure
- Increased blood lipid levels
- diabetes mellitus
How is atherosclerosis diagnosed?
There are several ways of examining and visualizing vessels. Depending on the question, indirect or functional investigations are also used to assess the vascular changes, such as a stress ECG or the measurement of pain-free walking distance. For the estimation of the risk for the presence of coronary vascular disease we offer the calcium score with CT. In case of the detection of an increased risk, a visualization of the coronaries can be made by cardio-CT . For other vascular regions, we perform the painless and radiation-free screening method of the MRI angiography in which the vessels can be shown in their full length and be viewed from all sides.
The duration of the examination is approximately 20 minutes for selected regions and approximately 35 minutes for the full-body MRI Angiography.
Is atherosclerosis treatable?
In all early arteriosclerotic stages, there is the possibility of regeneration of the vascular wall if damaging factors such as increased hypertension, cholesterol increase, diabetes, overweight and smoking are eliminated or avoided and measures, such as sport and healthy nutrition are implemented. In the case of advanced vascular changes, medical interventions are usually necessary to extend the diameter of the vessel and to restore the blood flow.