Ischemic heart disease is the most common heart disease, and occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle due to a partial or complete blockage of the arteries that supply blood is reduced.
Ischemic heart disease, common in disease Cardiology , can damage the heart muscle, reducing its ability to pump efficiently. A sudden, severe blockage of a coronary artery can lead to a heart attack.
Risk factors for ischemic heart disease
Factors that may increase the risk of myocardial ischemia are the snuff, family history, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, lack of exercise, high cholesterol and stress.
Symptoms of ischemic heart disease
In most people the first symptoms can take decades to appear. These are:
- Angina pectoris. The pressure or chest pain (usually on the left) that occurs regularly with physical or after heavy meals activity.
- Pain in the neck or jaw
- Pain in the shoulder or arm
- Difficulty breathing
- Decreased exercise tolerance
Heart attack, the most serious complication
If an artery becomes completely blocked the lack of blood and oxygen can lead to a heart attack, which destroyed part of the myocardium. When this happens, the electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats may not function properly, causing the heart to beat irregularly, faster or slower. In some cases, arrhythmias may be life threatening.
Myocardial ischemia can damage the heart, reducing its ability to pump blood efficiently to the body. This situation can lead to heart failure.
Causes of ischemic heart disease
Myocardial ischemia is caused by a plate which is formed along the inner walls of the coronary arteries, which are supplying blood to the heart, that close and they reduce blood flow to the heart muscle, ie It decreases the amount of oxygen provided to the heart muscle. This process is known as atherosclerosis.
Coronary arteries may also become blocked by a blood clot, which can completely block blood subministro heart and cause a heart attack, or vasospasm (Prinzmetal), a narrowing of the coronary arteries caused by muscle contraction Smooth vessel wall. Spasms of these arteries may also occur in people suffering from diseases affecting the immune system such as lupus.
Coronary heart disease can occur slowly, as the arteries become clogged over time, or quickly, when an artery is suddenly blocked.
Diagnosis and treatment of ischemic heart disease
It is necessary to review the medical history and a complete physical examination and followed by tests including electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress test, nuclear medicine, CT coronary angiography and coronary.
As for treatment, this involves making changes in lifestyle such as taking medications and possibly undergo surgical procedures.