[Headed By: Dr. Shobhit Agarwal]
Cardiology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the heart. The field includes diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology
Physicians specializing in this field of medicine are called cardiologists.
Cardiologists should not be confused with cardiac surgeons, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular, who are surgeons who perform cardiac surgery via sternotomy - open operative procedures on the heart and great vessels.
Disorders of the coronary circulation
Contrary to a basic understanding of the cardiovascular system, the heart cannot itself receive enough oxygen and nutrients from the blood it pumps and it must be supplied with blood as if it were any other organ in the body. Unlike the systemic organs the heart receives perfusion in the phase of diastole rather than systole. This circulation of blood is called the coronary circulation. The coronary circulation consists of coronary arteries and coronary veins.
Disorders of the coronary circulation can have devastating effects to the heart since damage to the heart can reduce coronary circulation which causes further damage. A few examples are presented, as follows:
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS)
Acute coronary syndrome is a broad term encompassing many acute myocardial infarction symptoms.
Angina pectoris literally means "chest pain" that refers to pain caused by ischemia of the heart.
Atherosclerosis is the condition in which an artery wall thickens as the result of a build-up of fatty materials (e.g., cholesterol). Atherosclerosis of a coronary artery leads to coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease is a general term for any reduction in coronary circulation. One such condition is atherosclerosis.
Myocardial infarction (aka heart attack)
A myocardial infarction is the death of a part of the heart which is typically caused by a blockage of the coronary circulation or coronary heart disease.
Recurrence of stenosis which would refer to a narrowing of a coronary artery in the context of the coronary circulation.