Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, and coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. It can lead to angina or chest pain, which can indicate a heart attack. Over time, coronary artery disease can also lead to arrhythmia or heart failure.
If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, call 911 right away. Here is a list of heart attack symptoms and what to do while you wait for help.
Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup or calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart. In its early stages, coronary artery disease will often have no or only subtle signs and symptoms. Left untreated, coronary artery disease can lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
A noninvasive heart scan can detect and measure the amount of calcium deposits in your arteries — helping your doctor determine if you have early signs of coronary artery disease before symptoms appear.
Academic Medicine Benefits
Our heart and vascular physician team is skilled in diagnosing, treating and managing coronary artery disease in all its forms.
Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease, occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked or narrowed due to plaque buildup or blood clots. This narrowing is also called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Over time, coronary arteries can become completely blocked, causing a total coronary occlusion. Without treatment CAD can lead to other heart problems, including heart failure, arrhythmia or a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI).
Because of our affiliation with an academic medical center, we offer a depth of expertise and proven technologies and techniques not found elsewhere. This is especially important for heart disease patients with coexisting conditions such as diabetes.
Multidisciplinary Team for Each Patient
Our physicians have deep levels of expertise in their specialty, and then collaborate to deliver the best patient care and quality outcomes. In addition to general cardiology, cardiologists specialize in valvular disease, heart failure, electrophysiology and interventional cardiology. They collaborate with other heart and vascular specialists – vascular and interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. Working together, our multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, therapists and medical professionals offer treatment approaches designed for each individual patient. Read more about our exceptional staff.
Emergency Care and Door-to-Balloon Time
Heart attacks are a major risk for those with coronary disease. One vital measure of heart attack care is “door-to-balloon time,” which refers to how quickly a team is able to get blood flowing again in patients who have had a cardiac event caused by blocked arteries. The accepted standard has been 90 minutes or less, but we set our own goal of 60 minutes or less. Read more about our emergency care.
Excellent Outcomes, Solid Relationships
Heart and vascular physicians work closely with referring physicians, keeping them informed regarding consults, treatment and follow-up care. And, as part of an academic medical center, we continually monitor outcomes to always improve patient care.
Several tests may be used to diagnose coronary artery disease, along with a thorough physical exam and medical and family history.
Common tests include:
Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease
Our physicians use the latest technology based on research to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease. Treatment may include lifestyles changes, medications and non-surgical procedures — such as coronary stents and cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac surgeons are skilled in all forms of cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafting and endovascular vein harvesting. Read more about the different treatment options for coronary artery disease.
As members of an academic medical center, heart and vascular physicians are up-to-date on the latest research findings and treatment techniques. Our patients also have access to significant local and national research studies and clinical trials.