Heart Disease (cont.)

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Angioplasty and stents for heart disease

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If the coronary angiogram (coronary=heart + angio=artery + gram=record) shows significant blockage in an artery, the cardiologist may attempt an angioplasty, in which a balloon is placed via a catheter (as with angiography) at the area of narrowing and when quickly inflated, compresses the offending plaque into the wall of the artery. Often a stent, or a metal cage, is placed at the site of angioplasty to keep the blood vessel from narrowing again. Should a stent be placed, patients are usually started on antiplatelet medication to prevent clot formation. Clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) are the two most common medications prescribed.

Surgery for heart disease

For those patients with multiple coronary artery blockages, coronary artery bypass grafting may be a consideration.


"Leaing Causes of Death." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 11 Jan. 2013.

Bamberg, F., et al. "Meta-analysis and systematic review of the long-term predictive value of assessment of coronary atherosclerosis by contrast-enhanced coronary computed tomography angiography." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 57.24 (2011): 2426-2436.

Greenland, P., et al. "2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 56.25 (2010): e50-e103.

Stone, N. J., et al. "2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 7 Nov. 2013.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/22/2014

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Heart Disease - Diagnosis Question: Have you been diagnosed with a type of heart disease? If so, what was the diagnosis and treatment.
Heart Disease - Risk Factors Question: What are/were your risk factors for developing heart disease?
Heart Disease - Symptoms Question: Describe the symptoms associated with your heart disease.
Heart Disease - Tests Question: Please describe the exams and tests you received that led to a diagnosis of heart disease.
Heart Disease - Prevention Question: If you have or are at risk for heart disease, how do you try to prevent a heart attack?
Heart Disease - Medications Question: What medications and/or supplements do you take to prevent heart disease?
Heart Disease - Angioplasty Question: Please share your experience with angioplasty, stenting, or heart surgery.