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Coronary Artery Disease

INTEGRIS Health cardiologists and specialists have extensive experience in caring for coronary artery disease, with cutting-edge technologies and procedures.

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Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a common heart condition that affects your coronary arteries, which is responsible of supplying blood to your heart. With coronary artery disease, cholesterol build-ups (plaque) narrow or block one or more of your coronary arteries. Chest discomfort (angina) is the most common symptom for patients. Leaving the condition untreated can lead to heart attacks, arrhythmia or heart failure.

Signs and Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is a chronic condition that can go on undetected for years before showing signs and symptoms. As the arteries narrow due to the plaque buildup, you may begin to notice milder symptoms. These symptoms can indicate your heart is pumping harder to deliver blood to your body.

Symptoms of chronic coronary artery disease include:

  • Stable angina: a temporary chest pain or discomfort that comes and goes in a predictable pattern. It can typically go away when you rest or take nitroglycerin (medicine that treats angina)
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath): shortness of breath during light physical activity
  • Fatigue
  • Heart attack: a completely blocked coronary artery will cause a heart attack

Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease

To diagnose coronary artery disease, your healthcare professional will request several tests for you to do. They’ll most likely ask about your medical history and symptoms you’re experiencing. They’ll most likely ask for you to do a blood test.

Tests

To help determine your condition and the severity, your doctor may ask you to do one or more of the following tests:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): shows how slow or fast your heart is beating
  • Echocardiogram: creates a picture of your heart beating, how the blood moves through your heart and heart valves
  • Exercise stress test: understand which symptoms you get when you exercise
  • Nuclear stress test: an exercise test with imagery added to the ECG recordings
  • Heart (cardiac) CT scan: a CT scan of the heart that can show calcium deposits and blockages in the heart arteries.
  • Cardiac catheterization and angiogram: a procedure used to help identify the outlines of any blockages

Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease

Treating coronary artery disease can be a mix of lifestyle changes, medication or surgery. Depending on the severity of your condition and your symptoms, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments.

There are many different drugs and medications used to treat coronary artery disease, including:

  • Cholesterol drugs: statins, niacin, fibrates and bile acid sequestrants
  • Aspirin
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Ranolazine

Medications

Surgery is used to fix a blocked artery sometimes.

Surgery options include:

  • Coronary angioplasty and stent placement: using a tiny balloon is inflated to help widen the blocked artery and improve blood flow. Also called a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG): a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body is used to create a new path for blood to the heart, usually done when there are many narrowed heart arteries.

INTEGRIS Health physicians, cardiologists and specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease, and the cutting-edge technologies and procedures brought to you by INTEGRIS Health Heart Hospital mean you can often get maximally successful results with the latest in minimally invasive robotic or laparoscopic surgeries and procedures.

INTEGRIS Heart Hospital

The INTEGRIS Heart Hospital is the largest and most comprehensive Oklahoma heart hospital.

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