Coronary arteries are arteries that surround the heart and supply blood to the heart. Old age and many other factors cause hardening of these soft and flexible arteries. These grow into veins over time and then called plaques. Because of these plaques, the vessels lose their flexibility; the vessels expand at times of demand and fail to supply blood to the heart muscle. The plaques also distub straight and smooth vessel surface and cause it to have a rough surface. These rough surfaces may cause clot formation and such clots may prevent blood flow over time and cause sudden blockage of the vessel. This condition which emerges with advancing age is called arteriosclerosis.
The causes of the disease can be listed as follows:
Coronary artery disease may initially show no symptoms. As the disease progresses, enough blood is not supplied to the heart and symptoms begin to emerge. These symptoms include:
In case of stress, an increase in these complaints is observed. Advanced hardening of the arteries causes heart attacks.
A patient's condition also determines the method of treatment. Drug therapy or surgical treatment can be applied.
The first preferred method is usually drug treatment. If the disease has a chronic course, treatment takes a long time. The aim of drug therapy is to prevent chest pain, expand blood vessels and reduce the heart's need for oxygen. Drugs are also used to eliminate factors causing this disease. In case of diabetes, high cholesterol, drugs are also used to prevent these conditions. Moreover, possible heart attack risk is reduced by using drugs like aspirin, which increase the viscosity of blood and inhibit clot formation in the vessel.
In advanced stage of the disease, surgery, including bypass surgery and angioplasty, is performed to unblock heart vessels.