arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis is a term that looks at the hardening of certain arteries and also refers to the loss of elasticity of those arteries.

This condition is caused by plaques that build up in the vessels.

Plaques can be Cholesterol, calcium, or other elements.

When this build-up is in smaller vessels of the Heart it can become very dangerous.

Atherosclerosis is when the build-up occurs in other parts of the body and/or in the heart. The Build-up causes a narrowing of the arteries.

Complications include:

–  Hypertension
–  Angina
–  Myocardial Infarction

Symptoms:

  –  Often there are no symptoms until a severe complication.
  –  Fatigue
  –  Shortness of breath
  –  Change in heart rhythm Arrhythmia
  –  Chest pressure
  –  Chest pain

Risk Factors

  –  Age
  –  Family history of heart disease
  –  Smoking
  –  Obesity
  –  Stress
  –  Diabetes
  –  High blood pressure
  –  High cholesterol
  –  Inactivity

Diagnosis

1.)  Coronary Angiography is important to help visualize the location and severity of the narrowing

2.)  Echo and EKG are helpful

3.)  Stress test to examine hearts performance during stress

Treatment

1.)  Angioplasty– flexible tube that has a balloon that is inflated to a compact area of plaque which changes the severity of narrowing

2.)  Coronary Artery Bypass Graft – Surgical option for placing vein from the leg into the heart

3.)  Coronary Stent – a stainless steel tube that holds the artery open

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