Ischaemic heart disease:
How does the coronary artery affect the heart that causes this disease?
Some fatty deposits called as "Atheroma" build up in the cells lining the internal walls of the coronary arteries. These fatty substances accumulate and increase gradually and irregularly in the branches of the two main coronary arteries that encircle the heart. They act as a major source of blood supply to the heart. Due to this it causes hardening of the blood vessels that harden the arteries and they become narrow towards the end. This blocks or stops the blood supply to the heart muscle. This process is termed as atherosclerosis. This results in inability to provide adequate oxygen to the heart muscle thereby damaging it completely. This is known as "ischemia". This increases the risk of heart attack.
Risk factors that cause ischemic heart disease:
Genetic heredity of this disease
High blood pressure
Previous heart attack
Presence of too much cholesterol
Symptoms and signs:
The first symptom that can indicate ischaemic heart disease is severe chest pain of myocardial infarction. This may be warning symptoms largely found in patient's suffering from Angina. Heart attack or cardiac arrest can be the signs of coronary artery disease. Adequate blood supply can show no symptoms often and is known as silent ischemia. Other symptoms can be shortess of breath or indigestion.
Ischaemic heart disease can be diagnosed by doing an ECG, an x-ray, stress test which is useful but not 100% reliable, nuclear scan, coronary angiography and intracoronary ultrasound. These are various tests performed that can detect the exact defect of function of the heart. Some of these tests can detect the exact location that are affected that cause less supply of blood to the heart. Doctors can also come to know exactly which side of your heart is not performing well.
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