Coronary Artery Disease

Like all muscles and organs, the heart needs a continuous supply of blood to function properly. The blood vessels that circulate blood to the heart are called coronary arteries. When those arteries narrow or become blocked, the result is coronary artery disease or CAD. The blockage in the coronary arteries is usually due to a build-up of cholesterol and fatty deposits called plaques. When blood flow to the heart diminishes and the heart muscle receives less than its usual supply of oxygen and nutrients, the result is chest pain known as angina. If the coronary arteries become completely blocked and parts of the heart muscle are deprived of oxygen and vital nutrients, a heart attack may occur. Signs you have CAD can include a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, weakness and irregular heartbeats. Several different types of tests can be performed to help physicians determine the extent of your coronary artery disease. An exercise stress test may be ordered, because symptoms are often most evident during physical activity. You may also undergo an angiogram, in which dye is...more


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