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  • Coronary Microvascular Disease


    Coronary microvascular disease (MVD), also known as small artery disease or small vessel disease, is a type of heart disease that primarily affects the small blood vessels in the heart, specifically the walls and inner lining of the tiny coronary artery blood vessels. These vessels branch off from the larger coronary arteries and supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.

    In coronary microvascular disease, there may be structural and functional abnormalities in the smaller blood vessels, such as narrowing, spasms, inflammation, or damage to the inner lining. These changes can lead to a reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, causing chest pain or discomfort, known as angina.

    Coronary microvascular disease primarily affects women, particularly after menopause, although it can also occur in men. The risk factors for developing this condition are similar to those for traditional coronary artery disease and include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, and a family history of heart disease.

    Diagnosing coronary microvascular disease can be challenging because it may not be evident on standard diagnostic tests like coronary angiography, which visualizes larger coronary arteries. However, other tests such as cardiac MRI, coronary flow reserve assessment, or positron emission tomography (PET) scans may help in detecting abnormalities in the smaller blood vessels.

    Treatment for coronary microvascular disease focuses on relieving symptoms, improving blood flow to the heart, and reducing the risk of complications. It often involves a combination of lifestyle changes, such as a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and medications to control risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. In some cases, medications that improve blood flow and reduce symptoms, such as nitroglycerin or calcium channel blockers, may be prescribed.

    It's important for individuals with symptoms of chest pain or angina to seek medical evaluation and discuss their concerns with a healthcare professional. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options based on the individual's specific condition.


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    <p><a href="">Registered Nurse</a>, talks about the symptoms of Microvascular Disease and how it is diagnosed and treated at Southlake Regional Health Centre.</p>

    Registered Nurse, talks about the symptoms of Microvascular Disease and how it is diagnosed and treated at Southlake Regional Health Centre.

  • Symptoms of Microvascular Disease

    Coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) refers to a condition in which the small arteries of the heart, known as the coronary microvessels, are damaged or not functioning properly. These microvessels are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.

    When the coronary microvessels are impaired, several issues can arise. One common problem is the constriction or spasm of these small arteries, leading to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, known as angina, as well as shortness of breath.

    In addition to these symptoms, patients with CMD may also need to make smart food choices to manage their condition. A heart-healthy diet is generally recommended, which includes consuming nutrient-dense foods and limiting the intake of unhealthy fats, cholesterol, and sodium. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like those found in nuts and olive oil is often advised.

    It's important for patients with CMD to work closely with their healthcare providers and registered dietitians to develop an individualized diet plan that suits their specific needs and goals. Medications and lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise and stress reduction techniques, may also be recommended to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

    If left untreated, CMD can lead to more serious problems, including heart attacks or heart muscle impairment. It is crucial for individuals experiencing symptoms of CMD to seek medical attention and undergo appropriate diagnostic tests, such as coronary angiography or cardiac MRI, to accurately diagnose and manage the condition.


    Coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) is a condition characterized by abnormalities in the small blood vessels of the heart, which can impair blood flow to the heart muscle. It is an important diagnosis because the coronary microvasculature, despite its small size, accounts for 90 percent of the coronary blood flow.

    In some cases, patients with ischemic-sounding chest pain (chest pain that appears to be related to reduced blood flow to the heart) may have abnormal results on non-invasive tests, such as stress tests or imaging studies, but normal angiograms. Angiograms are procedures that visualize the main arteries of the heart and may not detect abnormalities in the microvasculature.

    When patients with normal angiograms and ischemic-sounding chest pain are encountered, there should be a high suspicion of coronary microvascular dysfunction. To confirm the diagnosis, an invasive physiology study is often performed. During this study, special medications are infused to measure coronary blood flow and resistance in the heart arteries. The results of this study can help determine if there is microvascular dysfunction.

    Once diagnosed with coronary microvascular dysfunction, medical therapy is often initiated. The choice of medications may include ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and statins, among others, depending on the individual patient's characteristics and needs. These medications can help improve heart function and alleviate symptoms.

    In addition to medication, lifestyle modifications are crucial for managing coronary microvascular dysfunction. Regular exercise and stress reduction techniques, such as yoga or meditation, are recommended to improve heart artery function. Quitting smoking, if applicable, is particularly important, as smoking is detrimental to heart health.

    It's important to note that the diagnosis of coronary microvascular dysfunction can sometimes lead to anxiety or depression in patients. If you're experiencing these emotions, it's advisable to discuss them with your family physician, cardiologist, or another healthcare provider who can provide appropriate support and guidance.

    In summary, if you have questions or concerns about coronary microvascular dysfunction, it's best to consult with your family physician, cardiologist, or healthcare provider. They can provide you with personalized advice and address any further inquiries you may have.


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Heart Failure Now