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Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD)

Overview

When one or more blood supplying arteries to the heart are blocked causing the hampered blood supply to the heart is termed as Coronary Artery Diseases. This hardening of arteries is medically termed as Atherosclerosis . This hardening of arteries happens due to the deposition of plaque which is mainly made up of Fats, Cholesterol, Calcium, and many other elements found in the blood. This limited or hampered supply of oxygenated blood to the heart causes the heart cells to starve for oxygen called Ischemia which can result in death of heart cells or Myocardial Infarction. This hardening of vessels or Atherosclerosis can show up in three patterns namely Single Vessel Disease (wherein only one artery is blocked), Double Vessel Disease (where two arteries are blocked), or Triple Vessel Disease (where all the three arteries are blocked).


Types

CAD can be divided further into three types
  • Unstable Angina
    Pain in the heart when it lacks oxygenated blood while having any physical exertion. This pain is usually predictable.
  • Stable Angina 
    Pain in the heart when it lacks oxygenated blood even at rest or during emotional stress. This pain is unpredictable.
  • Myocardial Infarction 
    This is defined as the death of heart cells due to a lack of oxygenated blood supply.
  • Cardiac Arrest
    This is a condition in which the heart starts beating abnormally due to poor blood supply and eventually results in sudden death.


Signs & Symptoms

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain which may travel into shoulder, arm, back, neck or even to jaw sometimes
  • Profuse sweating
  • Shortness of breath or gasping
  • Palpitation


Causes or Risk factors

⦁ Obesity
⦁ Raised cholesterol levels (hyperlipidemia)
⦁ Excessive smoking
⦁ Excessive alcohol consumption
⦁ Lack of physical exercise
⦁ Depression
⦁ Raised blood pressure (Hypertension)
⦁ Raised blood sugar levels (Diabetes)


Diagnostic Tools

⦁ ECG (Electrocardiogram)
⦁ Stress test ( TMT or treadmill test)
⦁ Cardiac Dopppler
⦁ Heart Scan
⦁ Angiography


Treatment

⦁ Oral medications
⦁ Lifestyle Chnages
⦁ Invasive procedures
# Angioplasty
# CABG – Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting


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