Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is a long-term condition that affects many people around the world.
This disease is a disorder of the heart muscle caused by problems with the coronary arteries. The arteries supply their heart with oxygen- and nutrient- rich blood. Often plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, the consequence is that the vessels are narrowed and not enough oxygen-rich blood can be transported in the heart muscle. These phenomena are called atherosclerosis of coronary arteries.
After a while the minor supply of oxygen-rich blood causes damage of the heart muscle.
There are various symptoms of a coronary heart disease like chest pain on exertion (angina pectoris), shortness of breath on exertion, jaw pain, back pain, or arm pain especially on the left side. Other symptoms are nausea or vomiting, dizziness, extreme weakness, fullness, indigestion or choking feeling and rapid or irregular heartbeats. The most serious symptom can be sudden cardiac arrest or a heart attack.
Exams and Tests
There are different tests helping to diagnose coronary heart disease. One is to measure the blood pressure, making blood tests and very important is the electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the
electric current of the heart.
First is the normal ECG, which shows you rhythm disorders, certain valve problems or a heart attack. For this test electrodes are fixed on the skin of your chest, arms and legs.
Second is the exercise ECG, which measures the current of the heart under physical load. The ECG can make the oxygen deficiency visible, if the heart muscle has damage.
Another possibility is to make a long-term ECG with the help of a holter monitor. This is a portable device with a belt that can be fixed at the body, so that can measure at least for 24 hours the heart activity.
With this method you can see if the patient has under...