What is it?

Ischemic heart disease (IHD), also known as Coronary artery disease (CAD) or Coronary heart disease (CHD), involves the reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle, usually due to build-up of plaque (atherosclerosis) in the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. If a coronary artery becomes partially blocked, it can cause chest pain (angina). If it becomes completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Risk factors for atherosclerosis and therefore ischemic heart disease include: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, Diabetes and advanced age.
Main Types include: stable angina pectoris, unstable angina pectoris and myocardial infarction. A variant called "Prinzmetal angina" is a syndrome of angina that is caused by vasospasm - a contraction of the coronary arteries, rather then atherosclerotic narrowing. "nocturnal angina" is a type of angina that occur only during sleep.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
- Coronary Atherosclerosis
- Aneurysm of Heart
- Dissection of Coronary Artery
- Angina Decubitus
- Nocturnal angina
- Acute Coronary Occlusion Without Myocardial Infarction
- Acute coronary occlusion without mi
- Coronary Vessel Aneurysm
- Intermediate Coronary Syndrome
- Preinfarction syndrome
- Unstable angina

Signs & symptoms

the main symptom of ischemic heart disease is chest pain.
In stable angina, pain occurs regularly with activity, after eating, or at other predictable times. The symptoms usually pass within a few minutes and can be relieved by resting, or using a nitroglycerine tablet or spray.
In Unstable angina, the pain Occurs at rest or minimal exertion and usually lasts more than a few minutes, or is brought on by less activity, more severe, more prolonged or at increased frequency than previously.
Myocardial infarction is characterized by chest pain, that lasts more than a few minutes and may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck or jaw. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, a cough, dizziness, fast heart rate.


Diagnosing IHD requires a review of your medical history, a physical examination, and other medical testing. Your doctor will decide which tests to perform according to your symptoms and the severity of your situation. These tests may include:
Electrocardiogram (ECG): to measure the electrical activity of your heart.
Echocardiogram: an ultrasound of your heart, that tells your doctor about the size of your heart and how well your heart muscle and valves are working.
Stress test: This particular test measures the stress on your heart during physical activity and while at rest. The test monitors your heart’s electrical activity while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. Nuclear imaging may also be performed for a portion of this test. For those unable to perform physical exercise, certain medications can be used instead for stress testing.
Heart CT scan: Your doctor may use this imaging test to check for calcium deposits in your arteries.
Cardiac catheterization: During this procedure, your doctor injects a special dye into your coronary arteries through a catheter inserted through an artery in your groin or forearm. The dye helps enhance the radiographic image of your coronary arteries to identify any blockages.


There are a number of treatment options for ischemic heart disease, and The choice of treatment depends on your symptoms, and the severity and urgency of your condition. While stable angina is not life threatening, unstable angina and myocardial infarction require immediate care.
Treatment options include:
* Lifestyle changes - quit smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, exercise, lose weight, eat a healthy diet.
* Medications, such as cholesterol lowering medications, sugar lowering medications if you have diabetes, blood thinners, beta-blockers to reduce the metabolic demand of the heart, nitroglycerin to widen blood vessels and more.
* cardiac catheterization.
* Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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