One of the most common causes of arterial insufficiency is atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries." Fatty material (called plaque) builds up on the walls of your arteries, causing them to become narrow and stiff . This makes it hard for blood to flow through your arteries.
Blood flow may be suddenly stopped due to a blood clot (also called embolus). The clot usually breaks off from the fatty material built up in the wall of an artery.
Symptoms depend on where your arteries become narrowed:
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.