What are the causes and treatment options for inflammation of arteries?

Symptom Database

Inflammation of arteries, also known as arterial inflammation, is a condition that can have serious implications for cardiovascular health. It occurs when the walls of the arteries become inflamed, leading to a range of symptoms and potential complications. Understanding the causes and treatment options for inflammation of arteries is crucial for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

Causes of Arterial Inflammation

Arterial inflammation can be caused by various factors, including:

  • High blood pressure: Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage the inner lining of the arteries, leading to inflammation.
  • Smoking: The chemicals present in tobacco smoke can trigger inflammation in the arteries.
  • High cholesterol levels: Elevated levels of cholesterol can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, leading to inflammation.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight puts strain on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of arterial inflammation.
  • Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are more prone to arterial inflammation due to the impact of high blood sugar levels on the arteries.
  • Infections: Certain infections, such as those caused by bacteria or viruses, can lead to inflammation of the arteries.

Symptoms of Arterial Inflammation

Arterial inflammation may not always present noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, as the condition progresses, individuals may experience:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention promptly to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options for Arterial Inflammation

Lifestyle Changes

One of the first steps in treating arterial inflammation is making necessary lifestyle changes. These changes may include:

  • Quitting smoking: Smoking cessation is crucial for reducing inflammation and improving overall cardiovascular health.
  • Adopting a healthy diet: Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce inflammation and promote heart health.
  • Regular exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Managing stress: Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation, so finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as through meditation or exercise, is important.


In some cases, medications may be prescribed to manage arterial inflammation. These may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications: Statins are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Blood pressure medications: If high blood pressure is contributing to arterial inflammation, medications to lower blood pressure may be prescribed.

Medical Procedures

In more severe cases of arterial inflammation, medical procedures may be necessary. These may include:

  • Angioplasty: This procedure involves inserting a catheter with a balloon into the affected artery to widen it and improve blood flow.
  • Stent placement: A stent may be placed during angioplasty to help keep the artery open and prevent it from narrowing again.
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG): In cases of severe arterial inflammation, CABG surgery may be performed to bypass the blocked or narrowed arteries.

It is important to note that the treatment options for arterial inflammation may vary depending on the underlying cause and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.


Inflammation of arteries can have significant implications for cardiovascular health. Understanding the causes and treatment options for arterial inflammation is crucial for managing the condition and reducing the risk of complications. By making necessary lifestyle changes, taking prescribed medications, and undergoing appropriate medical procedures, individuals can effectively manage arterial inflammation and improve their overall cardiovascular health.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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