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Centerpoint Medical Center

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary arteries bring oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is blockage of these arteries. If the blockage is complete, areas of the heart muscle may be damaged. In severe cases, heart muscle dies. This can lead to a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death worldwide. Causes of CAD include:

  • Thickening of the walls of the arteries feeding the heart muscle
  • Accumulation of fatty plaques within the coronary arteries
  • Sudden spasm of a coronary artery
  • Narrowing of the coronary arteries
  • Inflammation within the coronary arteries
  • Development of a blood clot within the coronary arteries

Symptoms of coronary artery disease include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Weakness

Copyright © 2009 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

Diagnosis & Testing

Your physician at Centerpoint Medical Center will prescribe diagnostic tests right away to see if you have coronary artery disease. He may prescribe diagnostic tests such as:

  • Angiogram
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress test
  • Nuclear scanning
  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac stress test
  • Coronary angiography
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • MRI
  • Transesophageal echocardiography

Procedures & Treatment

If your heart team determines that you have coronary artery disease, your physician may prescribe different options for your treatment, such as:

  • ACE-inhibitors
  • Blood-thinners
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Percutaneous left ventricular assist device
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Cardiac stent
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Revascularization by percutaneous coronary intervention
  • Surgical left ventricular assist device