The heart has 3 layers of tissue:
Inside the heart, there are four chambers- the upper two are right and left atria and lower two are right and left ventricles. The atria receive the blood that comes to the heart and the ventricles pump blood out from the heart. The right and left side of the heart is separated by a septum.
The heart also has 4 valves which allow unidirectional flow of blood every time the heart beats.
The pumping action of the heart is controlled by the heart’s electric system. As an electrical impulse moves through the heart muscles, the various chamber of heart coordinate and pump out blood.
An electrical stimulus is generated by the sinus node (also called the natural pacemaker) which is located in the right atria of the heart. This stimulus activates the atrial muscles. The electrical stimulus then travels down through the conduction pathways and causes the heart’s ventricles to contract and pump out blood. The atria contract first, just a few milliseconds before the ventricles. This allows the blood from the atria to enter into the ventricles which is pumped out later.
Cardiac disease is the common cause of death throughout the world. Among these, 85% of death are due to heart attack and stroke.
A heart attack occurs when the cholesterol plaque accumulates in the walls of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart). People with the possible symptoms of a heart attack can confirm the diagnosis by coronary angiography. Coronary angiography is a procedure that combines contrast dye and X-rays to identify the blockages in the coronary arteries.
Coronary angiography is an important part of clinical evaluation in patients who have:
It is also used as a pre-operative procedure in individuals with scheduled heart surgery, who have a high risk of coronary artery disease.
The following are the possible complications associated with coronary angiography:
Coronary angiography is usually performed on an emergency basis. If the procedure is scheduled in advance, then the person may need to follow these instructions:
Before initiating the procedure, a sedative is given through the IV line to calm the person. Local anaesthesia is administered either on the arm or groin region.
Once the anaesthesia sets in, an incision is made to insert the catheter into the artery. By using the X-rays, the catheter is guided to reach the coronary artery. Once the catheter reaches the artery, a contrast dye is injected to highlight the blockage. This blockage is observed on the X-ray monitor.
Once the catheter is removed, the incision will be closed with a manual clamp. For the first few hours, you will be in a recovery room, where your vitals are checked. You need to lie straight for a few hours to avoid bleeding from the incision site.
Before discharge, the doctor may give you the following instructions:
Visit the doctor immediately on noticing any of the following symptoms:
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