Physiological Effects Of Coronary Heart Disease

1417 Words 6 Pages
Coronary artery disease (CAD; also more simply referred to as coronary heart disease) is a specific type of atherosclerosis, which is in turn a form of arteriosclerosis (Dulson, Fraser, LeDrew, & Vavitas, 2011). All of these medical conditions entail the same problem, which hinders proper blood flow of oxygenated blood in the arteries: the sclerosis (that is, hardening) of arteries in the circulatory system (Sclerosis [medicine], 2016). Arteriosclerosis is a general term used to describe the stiffening of arteries particularly resulting from the process of mere ageing, but may also occur due to the presence of other aspects such as the accumulation of plaque in and/or on the arterial walls, which consists of numerous components including lipids …show more content…
This report is concerned with explaining the physiological effects of CAD on the human body, latter-day inroads in technology that can be used to diagnose and treat CAD, and CAD’s impacts on societies with respect to lifestyle choices and prevention.
PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF CAD Firstly, CAD involves certain physiological effects that impact oxygenated blood flow to the heart. As mentioned earlier, CAD involves the accumulation of plaque consisting primarily of cholesterol and other fatty deposits (known as atheroma) in the coronary arteries, which normally pump oxygenated blood to the myocardial tissue in order to ensure that the cells remain healthy and that cellular respiration takes place efficiently (Dulson et. al., 2011). Due to the extensive plaque buildup in these arteries, which concomitantly decreases the elasticity of these vessels, proper oxygenated blood flow is impeded and may lead to several complications such as angina pectoris (or simply angina) and possibly a myocardial infarction
…show more content…
Coronary angiography (also known as cardiac catheterization) is usually employed to diagnose the majority of cases of CAD, which involves the introduction of a long, flexible tube (that is, a catheter) into an artery (generally the femoral artery due to its accessibility) wherein it is then pushed forward into the coronary arteries by the aid of a video screen revealing the catheter’s position (see Fig. C) (Dulson et. al., 2011). It is then injected with an opaque contrast dye that flows through the coronary arteries; contemporaneously, an X-ray (that is, an angiogram) is taken, which outlines the coronary arteries vividly and allows the physician to identify any areas of narrowing/partial blockage (Morgan, 1992). Other imaging technologies, such as CAT, PET, and/or MRI scans, may also be used to help diagnose CAD (Dulson et. al., 2011). CAD and its effects/symptoms can be treated through several means that range from the use of simple medications (for example, vasodilators, such as glyceryl trinitrate, which dilate arteries to increase blood flow) to more invasive medical procedures (Morgan, 1992). These procedures may include angioplasty, which involves clearing/widening a congested artery by the use of expanding a balloon in the area of obstruction in order to squeeze the plaque against the arterial wall and/or the insertion of a stent to make sure that the artery stays open (see Fig. D)

Related Documents