Coronary heart disease (CHD) begins with deposits of fat and connective tissue in the coronary arteries. This leads to narrowing (stenosis) or occlusion of the coronary arteries, so that the heart muscle tissue is no longer sufficiently supplied with oxygen and nutrients. The patients have more or less severe pain, first during exercise, later at rest (angina pectoris). If the blood circulation is severely limited, cardiac muscle cells can die due to the lack of oxygen (heart attack).
If the cardiologist wishes to determine whether the coronary arteries are narrowed, he examines the vessels with coronary angiography (cardiac catheterization). For the exclusion of coronary disease today also computerized tomography (CT angio) and magnetic resonance imaging are used.
In heart failure (heart failure), the heart is no longer able to pump enough blood to supply the organs in the body. Heart failure can arise from various causes, eg. As in hypertension, by cardiac arrhythmia, after a heart attack or heart valve defects. The disease is initially treated with medication. In severe cases, a heart transplant may be necessary.
In endocarditis, the heart valves or heart wall are inflamed. The inflammation can be caused either directly by bacteria (infectious or bacterial endocarditis) or as a non-infectious rheumatic late reaction (rheumatic fever) after a preceding streptococcal infection. In the case of infectious endocarditis, in the worst case, the bacteria may spread via the blood (sepsis). Despite optimal antibiotic treatment, about 30% of patients die from bacterial endocarditis. In rheumatic fever the prognosis is significantly better than in bacterial endocarditis.
Heart valve defects can affect all valves of the heart. The flaps can either be narrowed or leaking (insufficient). In the first case, the blood can not be expelled properly, in the second case, the blood flows back into the corresponding heart cavity. Mild heart valve defects cause little discomfort and usually do not need special therapy. Serious errors are usually treated with an operation.
Disorders of the heart rhythm can occur both in healthy people as well as signs of heart disease. There are several types of cardiac arrhythmias. Depending on the cause, the disorders are treated differently, either with medication or with electrotherapy.
In some diseases, fluid may fill in the space between the epi- and pericardium. This so-called Perikarderguss disappears spontaneously or by drug treatment, sometimes the doctor must aspirate the liquid. Pericardial effusion can be very dangerous if a lot of fluid quickly accumulates or the effusion is not detected in time. Because then the heart can no longer fill properly and as a result no longer produce enough blood. The pericardium can become infected for a variety of reasons. In technical jargon this means "pericarditis".
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Learn the info about doctors for heart diseases treatment listed below. It represents top specialists in Europe.
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Examination (ultrasound, ECG, rhythm measurement)
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