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 bood 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.