Coronary artery disease can lead to shortness of breath and heart attack. Find out from the experts at National Heart Centre Singapore how this condition is diagnosed and ways it can be treated.
Continued from previous page.
Diagnosis of coronary artery disease
Diagnosis normally starts with a physical examination, taking of your medical history and routine blood tests. Other tests recommended may include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Exercise stress test
- Coronary angiography
- CT coronary angiography
Treatment of coronary artery disease
"You can prevent or slow down coronary artery disease by improving the health of your heart and blood vessels," say doctors from
National Heart Centre Singapore, a member of the
Drugs and surgical techniques can open up narrowed coronary arteries. Making lifestyle choices to control the risk factors for coronary artery disease is the best long-term measure.
While many people are able to manage this disease with lifestyle changes and medications, others with severe coronary artery disease may need coronary angioplasty or surgery.
There are various procedures to improve coronary blood flow (revascularisation).
Percutaneous coronary intervention
A common treatment for severe blockage of the coronary arteries, it is also known as coronary or balloon angioplasty / percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) with coronary stent placement.
In PTCA, a small balloon or stent is used to help keep the part of the artery that is blocked open. The latest option within PTCA is the use of drug-eluting stents, which are stents covered with a drug, which supposedly has been shown to reduce the rate of re-narrowing of the arteries.
If percutaneous coronary intervention does not widen the artery or if complications occur, you may need coronary artery bypass surgery.
Coronary artery bypass surgery
This is an open heart surgery where a route is created for blood to go around a blocked part of a coronary artery to supply your heart with enough blood to relieve chest pain.
What causes coronary artery disease? See previous page to find out.