Posts Tagged ‘cleveland’

Coronary angiogram is a video graphic  snap shot of coronary arterial lumen which is filled with radio opaque dye. This is some times called as coronary luminogram . It is a paradox , when we say normal coronary angiogram we can only mean  normal coronary lumen. But  generally, this can provide sufficient  information regarding the status of  coronary blood flow.There are three structured layers in coronary artery wall . Coronary angiogram  can not give any information about the status of the intima, media or adventia .

Lesions A to F may be totally missed by conventional coronary angiogram

Lesions A to F may be totally missed by conventional coronary angiogram

A patient with normal coronay angiogram can have diffuse  atheroscelrosis or  localised atherosclerosis within the media of coronary artery .Many times these atherosclerotic plaques grow outward into the adventia and fail to encroach upon the lumen to be detected by coronary angiogram. These plaques , even though has an hemodynamic advantage, in that it doesn’t block blood flow , has a serious risk for sudden rupture and result in an acute coronary syndrome.

So what is the message?

A normal coronary angiogram can never convey a meaning of normal coronary arteries.

A person who has a normal coronary angiogram has no guarantee that he won’t develop a coronary event in the near future.(But the the chances are very low)

If coronary angiogram has serious limitations  what is the next alternative ?

Intra vascular ultra sound imaging(IVUS) can give us an idea of the coronary arterial wall anatomy. This investigation , though available for clinical application is too complex for regular use.So , you  can’t subject every patient with normal CAG  to an IVUS  (Intra vascualar ultra sound) to confirm the normality. The best option is what we follow every day in our practice  .Tell your patients   with normal coronary angiogram , that they are likely to  have  normal coronary arteries  ! don’t add up to their anxiety by saying,  in spite of normal CAG  still they  can carry  gross atherosclerosis in their  arteries. Anxiety can precipitate an coronary event. Too much technical information to the patients  can be counter productive. Instead  advice regular life style modification,  blood pressure ,diabetes, lipid  control  etc .

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