A look at Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic heart condition is a name for a group of heart related diseases which are caused by the reduced blood flow through the main heart arteries. The most common cause for this to happen is a condition known as atherosclerosis. Main side effect of the ischemic heart disease is coronary insufficiency, which is basically a state of higher demand and lower supply of the heart muscle for oxygen.

Cause and mechanisms of the disease

The most common cause for this disease to happen is atherosclerosis of the heart arteries. We can safely say that ischemic heart condition is a manifestation of atherosclerosis in heart arteries. During atherosclerosis there is a lot if fibroses plaque is created which causes fat accumulation such as cholesterol, LDL lipoproteins etc. beneath its surface so there is a gradual decrease in the volume of the blood vessel; narrowing of the coronary arteries in range of 50-75% if significant while anything more than that is usually linked with angina pectoris.

Thrombosis can also lead to blood arteries narrowing down or complete occlusion (complete seal of the volume) of the heart arteries. This is commonly found when there is a rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque and the trombone material is released which leads to aggregation of the thrombocytes and the appearance of thrombosis as a condition. This can lead to critical stenosis, which is complete decrease in flowing radius of the heart artery.


Most common and leading symptom of this group of disease is angina pectoris. This indicates presence of pain in the middle part of the chest, rarely exclusive to the left or right half of the rib cage as well as abdominal. The pain is usually of numb character, manifested as pressure or squeezing and it can appear as burning or strong intensive pain. It can easily radiate into the left arm, neck, bottom jaw, back and stomach. The pain is usually followed by a sensation of fear and over sweating. Any symptoms and pains reporting during stressful events, excitement and otherwise will disappear when the stress has stopped, that is, when the patient is calmed. The duration period of these pains is of great importance. These shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes and can be stopped earlier with medications. If the pains take longer than 20 minutes, this might be the case of a mild heart attack.

Diagnostics and therapy

Most common diagnostic methods used for this are physical checkup, laboratory tests such as those designed to detect cholesterol, other fats (lipids), glucoses, hormones of the thyroid gland, blood tests, lipoproteins, troponins etc. EKG is another common tool for diagnosis, as well as ultrasound, CT (computed tomography) etc.

Therapy includes medications as most valuable tools, as well as coronary angioplasty (PCTA) and bypass surgery. In most cases, a combination of all of the methods mentioned is used as this provides the highest efficiency for both diagnostic process as well as determining the proper therapy methods as it isn’t equal for every single patient.

About the author

Rani Vyas

Rani Vyas

I'm a Medical Consultant Doctor with a keen interest in Medical bioinformatics and genuinely intriguing way of presenting boring medical knowledge in an enchanting and eye catching way.

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