Activity 4B: Clumps and Bumps: A Look at Atherosclerosis

This activity features actual photomicrographs of coronary artery disease in young people aged 18 – 24 years of age. Students will observe the image of coronary artery cross sections and use a unit square grid to estimate the amount of open space (lumen), available for blood flow. They will notice the lumen in some of the blood vessels has been reduced as a result of atherosclerosis. Students will then infer what might happen to the heart muscle supplied by these arteries. This activity will provide student background information for a more in-depth study of the development of atherosclerosis.

  • Label the parts of a typical artery
  • Observe the effects of atherosclerosis on the coronary artery lumen
  • Infer the effects of atherosclerosis on blood flow
  • Describe what may happen when blood flow to specific parts of the body is restricted



Coronary artery, unit square grid, arteries, artery, arterial, anatomy, atherosclerosis, stroke, limb loss, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, organ damage, aneurysm

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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Inflamm-O-Wars: Silent Battles within Your Cardiovascular System
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 4: Inflamm-O-Stories: Progression and Regression of Atherosclerosis