“Coronary artery disease or CAD” is defined as the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerotic plaque which is made of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other cellular substances that tend to accumulate on the inner walls of the arteries. When plaque builds up, it narrows coronary arteries, resulting in decreased blood flow to the heart. Insufficient blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms.
Causes of coronary disease
The heart receives its own supply of blood from the coronary arteries. There are two major coronary arteries branch off from the aorta; left main coronary and right coronary. These arteries and their branches supply blood to all parts of the heart and heart muscle. The size of small vessels range from 2-4 mm.
Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease
In the early phase, the decreased blood flow may not cause any coronary artery disease symptoms. As plaque continues to build up in the coronary arteries, patients usually exhibit coronary artery disease signs and symptoms, including:
- Chest pain (angina) or tightness in the chest with unidentified position. However, this pain usually occurs on the middle or left side of the chest or might radiate to the left jaw or arm. It is generally triggered by physical or emotional stress.
- Shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with exertion.
- Epigastric pain radiating to the neck or jaw
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