The disease caused by the narrowing of the arteries feeding the heart as a result of the development of atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis) is called coronary artery disease. The presence of risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, especially around the navel, diabetes causes vascular stiffness (endothelial dysfunction). If it is noticed in time and the necessary precautions are not taken, vascular occlusion can lead to a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and fatal rhythm disturbances. Coronary artery disease is the most important cause of death and labor loss in our country and in the world. Genetic predisposition is very important in the development of coronary artery disease as in many diseases, individuals with an early family history of heart attack are especially at risk. Irregular and excessive fat nutrition leads to the increase of cholesterol and other harmful blood fats in people and prepares the ground for the development of vascular stiffness. Those who lead a stressful life, do not play sports and choose a sedentary lifestyle are at risk for the development of coronary artery disease.
As it can progress for years without any symptoms, it is common symptoms that have not been before, beginner fatigue, exertion and restriction of effort, chest, back, arm pain, and shortness of breath related to emerging effort. In addition, the first sign of coronary artery disease may be a sudden heart attack or sudden death in more unlucky patients.
If coronary artery disease is suspected, some tests are requested by specialist physicians for the diagnosis of the disease. The absolutely necessary examination in each patient is electrocardiography (ECG). This examination gives an idea about the beating of the heart and the presence of a past heart attack. Being able to withdraw as soon as the patient has a complaint increases its diagnostic value. The ECG taken during the absence of complaints may be normal, so a normal ECG does not rule out the presence of coronary artery disease. When necessary, a stress-free ECG (running test) may be requested to assess whether there is a bleeding disorder during exercise. Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy is a more sensitive but more expensive and at risk of radiation compared to the effort test that evaluates the blood supply using nuclear medicine methods. Echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) provides detailed information about the contraction of the heart and the state of the heart valves. The gold standard in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease is undoubtedly coronary angiography.