Pathophysiology & pharmacology of cardiac disease

The heart is a muscular organ the size of a fist, whose function is to continuously pump blood around the body. It is located in between the lungs, towards the left side of the chest. In humans, it is divided into four chambers. The heart pumps blood with a rhythm known as the heartbeat. A healthy human heart beats about 72 times per minute. The heart receives deoxygenated blood from the systemic circulation, which enters the right chamber through the superior and inferior venae cavae and is passed to the right ventricle. It then goes to the lung where it is oxygenated. The oxygenated blood returns to the left atrium, passes through the left ventricle and is returned to the systemic circulation through the aorta. This process is called the blood circulation.

The networks of blood vessels that circulate blood within the heart are called coronary arteries. The chambers of the heart pump blood through systolic and diastolic action. During systole, cardiac muscles contract to push blood out of the chamber, whereas during diastole cardiac muscles relax so that the chambers may allow in blood. Pathophysiology of Ischemic Heart DiseaseIschemic heart disease or coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death among adults in developed countries. Ischemic is a medical term which means ‘reduced blood supply’. Ischemic heart disease is a condition that causes a disproportion between myocardial supply and demand of oxygen, due to the atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries.

Atherosclerosis is the narrowing and hardening of arteries due to the build-up of fat and cholesterol, otherwise known as plaque or atheroma, within them, leading to the destruction of the endothelium. Due to the inadequate oxygen in the heart, ischemic heart disease usually results in accumulation of waste metabolites and myocardial hypoxia. Symptoms of Heart DiseaseCommon symptoms of ischemic heart disease include  fatigue and weakness, an irregular pulse and chest pain accompanied by shortness of breath and dizziness depending on the severity, the chest pain may also radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, and back. The chest pain is a major symptom and is medically referred to as angina. It may feel like intense heartburn.

However, the disease may also be symptomless in some cases, and only be detected following a heart attack or heart failure.

Risk Factors

Risk conditions that may lead to Ischemic heart disease include  being overweight or obsess, aging, genetic factors, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking, high cholesterol levels and stress. Recent clinical angiographic, scintigraphy, hemodynamic and animal studies reveal that the increase of vasomotor tone is also a cause of ischemic heart disease. Diagnosis includes learning more about the patient’s family and medical history and their lifestyle.

The more sedentary one’s lifestyle is, the higher their chances of contracting a coronary illness. Apart from finding out about the patient’s medical and family history, various tests are also carried out to establish the presence of ischemic heart disease. These are  a CT scan, an MRI scan, treadmill test, radionuclide scan and a coronary angiography. Comment by Grammarly: Deleted:e Comment by Grammarly: Deleted:atPharmacology of Ischemic Heart DiseaseTreatment for ischemic heart disease includes