Angina pectoris commonly known as angina, is chest pain due to a lack of blood and hence oxygen supply to the heart muscle, generally due to obstruction or spasm of the coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease, the main cause of angina, is due to atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. The term derives from the Greek ankhon ("strangling") and the Latin pectus ("chest"), and can therefore be translated as "a strangling feeling in the chest".
In medicine, a disease is asymptomatic while the patient does not experience any noticeable symptoms. Asymptomatic diseases may not be discovered until the patient undergoes medical tests. Some diseases remain asymptomatic for a remarkably long time.
Atherosclerosis is a disease affecting arterial blood vessels. It is a chronic inflammatory response in the walls of arteries. It is commonly referred to as a "hardening" or "furring" of the arteries. It is caused by the formation of multiple plaques within the arteries. These plaque deposits lead to a restricted blood flow to the heart. Therefore, less oxygen and other nutrients reach the heart muscle. This may lead to angina pectoris or to a heart attack.
In pathology, an atheroma is an accumulation and swelling in artery walls that is made up of cells or cell debris, that contain lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids), calcium and a variable amount of fibrous connective tissue. In the context of heart or artery matters, atheromata are commonly referred to as atheromatous plaques (please see plaque).
Catheter (balloon or PTCA catheter)
In medicine a catheter is a tube that can be inserted into a body cavity, duct or vessel. Catheters thereby allow drainage or injection of fluids or access by surgical instruments. The process of inserting a catheter is catheterization. A balloon catheter is a type of "soft" catheter with an inflatable "balloon" at its tip which is used during a catheterization procedure to enlarge a narrow opening or passage within the body. The deflated balloon catheter is positioned, then inflated to perform the necessary procedure, and deflated again in order to be removed.
The circulatory system is extremely important for sustaining life. Its proper functioning is responsible for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all cells, as well as the removal of carbon dioxide and waste products, maintenance of optimum pH, and the mobility of the elements, proteins and cells of the immune system. In developed countries, the two leading causes of death, myocardial infarction and stroke each may directly result from an arterial system that has been slowly and progressively compromised by years of deterioration (see atherosclerosis).
Computed tomography (CT)
Computed tomography is a medical imaging method employing tomography. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. The word "tomography" is derived from the Greek tomos (slice) and graphein (to write).
Coronary artery disease (CAD)
CAD is also called coronary heart disease (CHD) or atherosclerosis, is the end result of the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the myocardium (the muscle of the heart). The restricted blood flow may lead to angina pectoris or a heart attack.
Angiography or arteriography is a medical imaging technique in which an X-ray picture is taken to visualize the inner opening (lumen) of blood filled structures, including arteries, veins and the heart chambers. Its name comes from the Greek words angeion, "vessel", and graphien, "to write or record".
Coronary angioplasty (PCI or PTCA)
Coronary angioplasty (also known as percutaneous coronary intervention, PCI or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, PTCA) is a therapeutic procedure to treat the stenotic (narrowed) coronary arteries of the heart found in coronary artery disease. Angioplasty is the mechanical widening of a narrowed or totally obstructed blood vessel. These obstructions are often caused by atherosclerosis. The word is composed of the medical combining forms of the Greek words aggeios meaning "vessel" and plastos meaning "formed" or "moulded". Angioplasty is typically performed in a minimally invasive or percutaneous method.
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)
CABG also called heart bypass or bypass surgery is a surgical procedure performed to relieve angina and reduce the risk of death from coronary artery disease. Arteries or veins from elsewhere in the patient's body are grafted to the coronary arteries to bypass atherosclerotic narrowing and improve the blood supply to the coronary circulation supplying the myocardium (heart muscle).
Radiocontrast agents (also simply contrast agents or contrast materials) are compounds used to improve the visibility of internal bodily structures in an X-ray image.
An electrocardiogram is a graphic produced by an electrocardiograph, which records the electrical activity of the heart over time. Its name is made of different parts: electro, because it is related to electronics, cardio, Greek for heart, gram, a Greek root meaning "to write".
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique commonly used by physicians to obtain real-time images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope. In its simplest form, a fluoroscope consists of an x-ray source and fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed.
Hyperplasia (cell proliferation)
Hyperplasia is a general term referring to the proliferation of cells within an organ, vessel or tissue beyond that which is ordinarily seen in e.g. constantly dividing cells.
A tube that is inserted into the body to provide an access point and allow the insertion of other instruments into the artery (e. g. a balloon catheter).
In medicine, ischemia (Greek “isch-“ is restriction, “hema or haema” is blood) is a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue.
A lesion is any abnormal tissue found on or in an organism, usually damaged by disease or trauma. Lesion is derived from the Latin word laesio which means injury.
A lumen (pl. lumina) is an inner space, lining or cavity. In case of vascular procedures it describes the inner opening of the blood vessel.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is primarily used in medical imaging to visualize the structure and function of the body. It provides detailed images of the body in any plane. MR has much greater soft tissue contrast than computed tomography (CT) making it especially useful in neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncological imaging. Unlike CT it uses no ionizing radiation, but uses a powerful magnetic field to align the magnetization of hydrogen atoms in the body. Radio waves are used to systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, causing the hydrogen atoms to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to reconstruct an image of the body.
Medication is a medicine, drug or other substance used to prevent or cure disease or to relieve pain.
Myocardial infarction (MI)
MI more commonly known as a heart attack, is a medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted, most commonly due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The resulting ischemia or oxygen shortage causes damage and potential death of heart tissue. It is a medical emergency, and the leading cause of death for both men and women all over the world.
Percutaneous pertains to any medical procedure where access to inner organs or other tissue is done via needle-puncture of the skin, rather than by using an "open" approach where inner organs or tissue are exposed. The percutaneous approach is commonly used in vascular procedures. This involves a needle catheter getting access to a blood vessel, followed by the introduction of a wire through the lumen of the needle. It is over this wire that other catheters can be placed into the blood vessel. This technique is known as the modified Seldinger technique.
Plaque is an accumulation or buildup of cholesterol, fatty deposits, calcium and collagen in a coronary vessel that leads to blockages in the blood vessel (also atheroma or atheromatous plaque).
Platelets, or thrombocytes, are the cells circulating in the blood that are involved in the cellular mechanisms of primary hemostasis leading to the formation of blood clots (or thrombus).
Restenosis (In-stent restenosis – ISR)
Restenosis literally means the reoccurrence of stenosis. This is usually restenosis of an artery, or other blood vessel, that has been "unblocked". This term is common in all branches of medicine that frequently treat stenotic lesions (e. g. interventional cardiology following angioplasty).
A risk factor is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection. Risk factors are evaluated by comparing the risk of those exposed to the potential risk factor to those not exposed; i.e. number of persons experiencing the event divided by the number of persons exposed to the risk factor.
The Seldinger technique is a medical procedure to obtain a safe access to blood vessels and other hollow organs. It is named after Dr. Sven-Ivar Seldinger (1921-1998), a Swedish radiologist from Mora, Dalarna County, who introduced the procedure in 1953.
A stenosis is an abnormal narrowing in a blood vessel or other tubular organ or structure.
Stent (coronary stent, bare metal stent, drug-eluting stent)
In medicine, a stent is a tube that is inserted into a natural conduit of the body to prevent or counteract a disease-induced localized flow constriction. The most widely known stent use is in the coronary arteries with a bare metal stent, a drug-eluting stent or occasionally a covered stent. A drug-eluting stent is a coronary stent (a scaffold) that slowly releases a drug to block cell proliferation.
A symptom is a manifestation of a disease, indicating the nature of the disease, which is noticed by the patient.
In medicine, a disease is symptomatic when it is at a stage when the patient is experiencing symptoms.
Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system.
A thrombus, or blood clot, is the final product of the blood coagulation step in hemostasis. It is achieved via the aggregation of platelets that form a platelet plug, and the activation of the humoral coagulation system (i.e. clotting factors).
An X-ray (or Röntgen ray) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. The x-rays are longer than Gamma rays but shorter than UV rays. X-rays are primarily used for diagnostic radiography and crystallography. X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation and as such can be dangerous. In many languages it is called Röntgen radiation after one of the first investigators of the X-rays, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.