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The heart is a vital organ that supplies blood to the muscles and tissues and keeps your body running. In our previous articles, we’ve discussed common conditions that affect the heart, such as congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Take a look at our blog for more information.

While much is discussed about these common ailments, other conditions like patent foramen ovale (or PFO) can also affect the heart. So, what exactly is PFO? And how does it affect your cardiac health? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this lesser-known condition.

What is Patent Foramen Ovale?

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart that can be congenital or acquired. The foramen ovale is a flap-like opening between the heart’s upper chambers. It usually closes within three to six months after birth and becomes a part of your heart’s septum.


patent foramen ovale

But if that doesn’t happen, you may have a PFO. In most cases, a PFO is present at birth (congenital). However, one can also develop it as an adult due to injury, infection, or inflammation of the tissue around the heart (acquired). 

Should You Be Worried About Patent Foramen Ovale?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale, you’re likely wondering if it poses a threat to your cardiac health. Fortunately, this condition is usually asymptomatic and does not require treatment. However, it can be a risk factor for stroke and heart attack in some people.

PFO can also be the underlying cause of other conditions, such as:

  • Hypoxemia (low blood oxygen)
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Paradoxical embolism
  • Migraine
  • Atrial Fibrillation

That makes it crucial to stay in touch with your doctor and monitor your heart health to keep these conditions at bay.

Signs and Symptoms of PFO

If you’re lucky, a PFO will cause no noticeable symptoms. However, if it results in a drop in your blood oxygen levels, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fatigue or weakness that does not go away with rest
  • Feeling faint

What Are the Treatment Options for Patent Foramen Ovale?

Treatment options for a PFO include:

  • Device closure procedure, is necessary only for patients who have had a stroke or heart attack caused by the condition
  • Anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication for those with a complex morphology PFO
  • Watchful waiting if you have no symptoms (that means you will be monitored regularly for any problems caused by your condition)

If you experience symptoms, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medication as treatment options.

In Conclusion

Now you know what a patent foramen ovale is and why it’s so important to get checked out if you have symptoms. If you are diagnosed with a PFO, your doctor may recommend treatment based on your symptoms and medical history. That said, PFO does not always require treatment. Some people have been living with it for years without any issues at all.

Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist who specializes in interventional cardiology. If you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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    Patent Foramen Ovale – Blog


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      Dr. RAGHU

      Cardiology Coronary, Vascular and
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      Coronary angioplasty


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      What Is Coronary Angiography?

      Coronary angiography is a procedure that uses X-rays to visualize and inspect arteries. It shows if there are any blocked arteries and how well your heart muscle is working.

      During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into an artery in your arm or groin and advanced into one of your coronary arteries. Thereafter, contrast dye is injected into the coronary artery to make it visible on X-ray images.

      The procedure can help identify blockages in the heart’s blood vessels and guide treatment decisions for patients at risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack due to narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to various organs.

      When Is Coronary Angiography Performed?

      Coronary angiography is typically performed if you have chest pain or other symptoms that suggest the presence of heart disease. If you have had a heart attack or have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease. It can be used in conjunction with an exercise stress test.

      How Is Coronary Angiography Done?

      If you’re scheduled for coronary angiography, here’s what you can expect:

      • The doctor will give you a sedative, usually in the form of an injection, at the start of your procedure.
      • They’ll insert a catheter into one of your arteries, either in your groin or wrist, and guide it through your blood vessels to reach your heart.
      • They’ll inject a special dye (contrast agent) into the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle so that they can see them clearly on X-rays taken after injecting this contrast agent.

      Where Is Coronary Angiography Performed?

      Coronary angiography is performed in a cath lab (catheterization laboratory). The cath lab is a room with special equipment for performing coronary angiography and other procedures that entail inserting a long, thin tube (called a catheter) into the blood vessels of your heart.

      Why Is Coronary Angiography So Common Nowadays?

      Advancements in medical science have made coronary angiography more accessible to patients. The procedure has become simple and the risk has reduced significantly. Also, unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices put more people at risk of developing cardiac ailments. That’s why coronary angiography is commonly performed now-a-days.

      What are the risks involved in Coronary angiography?

      In expert hands coronary angiography is a near-zero risk procedure. The risk of complications can be broadly categorized into:

      Less severe complications

      • bleeding under the skin at the wound site (haematoma) – this should improve after a few days, but contact your Cardiologist if you’re concerned. Application of ice packs would be helpful.
      • bruising – it’s common to have a bruise in your groin or arm for a few weeks. Application of ice packs would be helpful.
      • allergy to the contrast dye used, causing symptoms such as a rash and a headache – this is uncommon, but you should discuss any allergies with your cardiologist before having the procedure

      Severe complications

      The chance for developing a serious complication during coronary angiogram is 1 in 1000. People with serious underlying heart problems are most at risk. Discuss with your cardiologist about the risks before the procedure.

      • damage to the artery in the arm or groin in which the catheter was inserted, with the blood supply to the limb possibly being affected 
      • heart attack – a serious medical emergency where the heart’s blood supply is suddenly blocked 
      • stroke – a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted 
      • damage to the kidneys caused by the contrast dye 
      • tissue damage caused by X-ray radiation if the procedure is prolonged 
      • death

      In Conclusion

      Coronary angiography is used to diagnose and treat heart diseases, before cardiac surgery, angioplasty-stent procedures as well as other conditions such as aneurysms in blood vessels. It helps doctors identify underlying causes of heart failure and determine the proper course of treatment.

      Dr. C Raghu is a renowned cardiologist with decades of experience in interventional cardiology. He is one of the pioneers of trans-radial procedures in India. Consult him if someone is in need for coronary angiogram.

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        Coronary Angiography Blog


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          Coronary angiography is a common diagnostic test used by doctors to identify conditions, such as coronary artery disease and aneurysms. In our previous blog, we discussed how the procedure is carried out and when it’s used. Click here to check it out.

          coronary angiography

          Angiography is a minimally invasive procedure, which makes it extremely safe. However, it can involve a few minor side effects. The benefits outweigh the risks for most patients. However, in some cases, coronary angiography can result in serious complications.

          In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the risks and side effects associated with coronary angiography.

          Common Side Effects of Coronary Angiography

          If you’re planning to visit the doctor for an angiography, you can expect one or more of the following side effects:

          • Bruising
          • Swelling
          • A buildup of blood (resulting in a bump)

          All these symptoms are localized to the area where the cut was made for inserting the catheter. Most patients experience a gradual improvement in these side effects without medical intervention. You can take painkillers to relieve discomfort after the procedure.

          Complications of Coronary Angiography

          If you’re lucky, you’ll come out of coronary angiography with minor bruising and swelling. However, some patients develop the following complications:

          • An infection near the cut :- It makes the area around the cut red, swollen, and tender.
          • An allergic reaction to the dye :- It usually results in an itchy rash.

          In both cases, proper use of medications can help control the side effects. For instance, antibiotics can be used in the case of an infection. Similarly, your doctor might prescribe antihistamines if you experience an allergic reaction.

          It’s worth mentioning that coronary angiography comes with a few potential serious complications. These include:

          • Kidney damage (from the dye)
          • Cardiac arrest or stroke
          • Internal bleeding (due to damaged blood vessels)
          • Anaphylaxis (due to severe allergic response to the dye)

          The good news is that these complications are extremely rare (affecting less than one in every 1000 patients). Also, kidney damage due to angiography is usually temporary. Moreover, internal bleeding can be contained with the help of catheter based approaches.

          Seeking Medical Help

          Complications from coronary angiography are rare. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor if you notice anything unusual after the procedure. For instance, if the leg or arm where the cut was made looks pale or feels numb, it’s a cause for concern. Similarly, if you notice bleeding, redness, or a firm lump near the cut, it could indicate a potential infection. It’s always a good idea to watch out for these signs and consult your doctor for timely treatment.

          In Conclusion

          Coronary angiography is a safe and minimally invasive procedure. It can cause minor side effects, such as pain and swelling. However, in extreme cases, it can also lead to a heart attack or kidney damage. It’s crucial to talk to your doctor about the potential risks before going in for the procedure.

          Dr. C Raghu has more than two decades of experience in treating patients with different heart conditions. If you have queries or concerns about coronary angiography, feel free to reach out to Dr. Raghu today.

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            What Are the Risks of Coronary Angiography? – Blog

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              In our previous articles, we’ve discussed the symptoms of heart failure and the steps to diagnose the same. However, the course of treatment varies for every patient based on the type of heart failure they’ve developed.

              Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, there are two types of heart failure. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at diastolic dysfunction and its symptoms.

              What Causes Diastolic Dysfunction?

              diastolic dysfunction

              The diastolic phase refers to the part of the heart’s pumping cycle when the ventricles (lower chambers) relax and let blood flow in from the atria (upper chambers). Diastolic dysfunction is a condition in which the ventricles don’t relax enough. That, in turn, prevents the normal amount of blood from entering the heart.

              Diastolic dysfunction is caused when the heart muscles become thicker and stiffer than usual. It’s more common in older women with hypertension and diabetes. If left untreated, it can lead to diastolic heart failure (also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction).

              Related : Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

              What Does Preserved Ejection Fraction Mean?

              Ejection fraction refers to the volume of blood pumped out from the heart’s left ventricle with each contraction. For a healthy heart, the number falls in the range of 55% to 65%. A lower ejection fraction is one of the most common indicators of heart failure.

              However, it’s worth noting that many people with diastolic dysfunction have an ejection fraction of 50% or more (which is known as preserved ejection fraction). That means the left ventricle expels an adequate amount of oxygenated blood.

              However, the heart muscle doesn’t relax enough to let a sufficient quantity of blood in. That, in turn, causes the excess blood to back up in the lungs and results in fluid buildup in the feet and abdomen.

              How to differentiate systolic from diastolic dysfunction ?

              diastolic dysfunction

              In contrast to systolic dysfunction where the heart muscle is “weak”, in diastolic dysfunction the heart is “stiff”. This means that the heart is unable to pump blood out of the heart in systolic dysfunction whereas the heart is unable to accept further blood in diastolic dysfunction. Both conditions lead to congestion or fluid accumulation in various organs of the body. Differentiation of heart failure from systolic and diastolic dysfunction is not possible as both diseases present with similar symptoms. 

              Which conditions lead to Diastolic dysfunction?

              • Diastolic dysfunction appears consequent to uncontrolled or long-standing diabetes
              • Hypertension
              • Obesity as well as elderly people
              • Women and atrial fibrillation

              The best way to prevent and treat diastolic dysfunction is by effective control of the diseases mentioned above.

              Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction

              The most common symptom of diastolic dysfunction is congestion and shortness of breath due to the buildup of blood and fluid in the lungs. Breathing difficulties can get particularly worse during exertion or when lying.

              Other symptoms of diastolic dysfunction include:

              • Coughing and wheezing (due to lung congestion)
              • Loss of appetite and nausea (due to fluid buildup around the liver and in the stomach)
              • Swollen feet, legs, and abdomen (due to fluid accumulation)

              If you experience any of the given symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

              Treatment of Diastolic Dysfunction

              Treatment of diastolic dysfunction involves a combination of medications (diuretics or water pills) and lifestyle changes. In severe cases, a patient might need left ventricular assist devices or a heart transplant.

              Is Diastolic Dysfunction Serious?

              In the long run, diastolic dysfunction can lead to diastolic heart failure. That, in turn, increases your risk of hospitalization and death. Therefore, you should pay close attention to your symptoms and reach out to a doctor whenever you notice anything unusual.

              Dr. C Raghu is a renowned cardiologist who specializes in interventional cardiology. He has decades of experience in treating patients with different heart conditions. If you or anyone you know has developed symptoms like shortness of breath, swollen feet, loss of appetite, etc., contact Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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                What Are the Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction ? – Blog

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                  Congestive heart disease or heart failure is a serious condition that can be life-threatening (if left untreated). It can diminish blood supply to vital organs, such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. That, in turn, can lead to organ damage.

                  Congestive Heart Disease

                  In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the causes and types of congestive heart failure. Also, we’ll understand the outlook for patients living with the condition. Let’s get started.

                  What Are the Causes of Congestive Heart Failure?

                  Congestive heart failure is characterized by a gradual deterioration in the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. It can result in various symptoms, such as swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight gain, and loss of appetite. Read our blog post on heart failure symptoms for more details.

                  Typically, the condition is the result of an abnormality in the cardiac muscles that interferes with the heart’s pumping function. It can be due to a congenital defect or an underlying illness that exerts the heart muscles.

                  The most common causes of congestive heart disease include :

                  The following factors also increase an individual’s risk of developing the condition:

                  • A family history of cardiovascular diseases
                  • Tobacco smoking
                  • Alcohol consumption
                  • Sedentary lifestyle
                  • Substance abuse

                  Types of Congestive Heart Failure

                  Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, congestive heart failure can be of two types: systolic heart failure and diastolic heart failure.

                  In systolic heart failure, the left ventricle becomes thin and weak and is unable to push an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood into the arteries. It’s also known as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

                  In diastolic heart failure, the ventricles become thick and stick, due to which the heart can relax and let an adequate amount of blood fill the chambers. It’s also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

                  Congestive heart failure can also be categorized into two types depending on the side of the heart that’s affected. This includes left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure.

                  Acute Congestive Heart Failure

                  The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have outlined four distinct stages of the progression of heart failure. Stage four, or the most advanced stage, is characterized by acute heart failure.

                  At this stage, a patient experiences severe symptoms that don’t respond to standard treatments. They might need frequent hospitalization or specialized treatment to stay out of the hospital.

                  Congestive Heart Failure Prognosis

                  There’s no known cure for congestive heart failure. However, timely diagnosis, proper treatment, and lifestyle changes can be instrumental in improving a patient’s quality of life and longevity. Doctors usually use a cardiopulmonary stress test to predict your prognosis.

                  The prognosis of congestive heart failure for a patient depends on various factors, including their age, sex, medical history, and lifestyle. Chronic ailments like diabetes can worsen your prognosis. Also, the stage at which heart failure is diagnosed influences the outlook.

                  Dr. C Raghu is a world-renowned cardiologist who’s helped thousands of patients with cardiac ailments. He specializes in interventional cardiology and has nearly two decades of experience. If you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with congestive heart disease, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu right away.

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                    Congestive Heart Disease: An Overview – Blog

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                      The heart is a critical organ that powers the human body. It beats roughly 100,000 times a day and pumps more than 2,000 tons of blood throughout the body. 

                      Heart failure is a condition in which the heart gradually loses its pumping capacity. It can lead to symptoms like breathlessness, fluid buildup, and mental confusion. In the long run, it can result in organ damage and even death.

                      In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of congestive cardiac failure. Let’s dive right in.

                      Congestive Cardiac Failure and Heart Failure: Are They the Same?

                      Traditionally, doctors used the terms congestive cardiac failure or congestive heart failure to refer to the progressive deterioration of the heart’s pumping action. They used “congestion” to describe the buildup of fluid in the lungs due to heart failure.

                      congestive cardiac failure

                      However, subsequent studies have shown that the condition can lead to other symptoms, such as swollen feet, fatigue, and mental confusion. That’s why doctors use the term heart failure nowadays.

                      Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

                      Irrespective of whether you call it congestive cardiac failure or simply heart failure, its most common causes include:

                      Additionally, damaged or dying heart tissue due to an infection or a previous heart attack can result in congestive cardiac failure. 

                      Related : Mitral Valve Stenosis : Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

                      Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

                      congestive cardiac failure

                      The symptoms of congestive heart failure depend on whether it causes a lack of oxygen supply to the organs or excess fluid buildup in the body.

                      In the first case, the symptoms include mental confusion, fatigue, and discolored or bluish skin. In the second case, heart failure can lead to symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, weight gain, swelling in the feet, legs, and abdomen, and loss of appetite.

                      Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure

                      The treatment of congestive heart failure depends on its underlying cause and the side of the heart that’s affected. A doctor will order a series of tests, such as chest X-ray, ECG, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography. Routine blood tests, such as lipid panel and electrolyte tests, might be needed, too.

                      Once the root cause is identified, your doctor can prescribe one or more of the following medications:

                      • Diuretic or water pills
                      • Beta-blockers
                      • ACE inhibitors or Angiotension receptor Neprilysin inhibitor 
                      • Digoxin
                      • Anticoagulants

                      Additionally, the doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, including exercise, a low-sodium diet, and weight loss. Also, they’ll ask you to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. In extreme cases, patients need a heart transplant or ventricular assist device (VAD) to improve their quality of life.

                      Wrapping Up

                      Congestive cardiac failure is a chronic condition with no known cure. If left untreated, it can lead to organ damage and death. However, a proper treatment plan comprising lifestyle changes and medications can help manage various symptoms.

                      Dr. C Raghu is a renowned cardiologist and a specialist in interventional cardiology. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of heart failure, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Raghu right away.

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                        Congestive Cardiac Failure – Blog

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                          Call us now if you are in a medical emergency need, we will reply swiftly and provide you with a medical aid.


                          Call us now if you are in a medical emergency need, we will reply swiftly and provide you with a medical aid.

                          Dr. Raghu | Heart Specialist in Hyderabad
                          Aster Prime Hospital, Plot No: 2, Mytri Vihar, Satyam Theatre Lane Nearest Metro Station: Ameerpet Metro (100 Mtrs), Telangana 500016

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