Cardiovascular > IC


Interventional cardiology refers to various non-surgical procedures for treating cardiovascular disease. Interventional cardiologists use catheters – thin, flexible tubes – to get inside blood vessels for diagnostic tests or to repair damaged vessels or other heart structures, often avoiding the need for surgery.

What types of heart disease are treated with interventional cardiology?

Interventional cardiologists treat narrowed arteries and weakened heart valves – often caused by coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or peripheral vascular disease.
• Coronary artery disease is the narrowing of the coronary arteries, the tubes which supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. This narrowing of the arteries is caused by atherosclerosis – the buildup of fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium, and plaque on the inner surface of the arteries. Atherosclerosis restricts blood flow to the heart, which can lead to heart attack or other heart problems. Symptoms may include angina (intermittent chest pain), shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and/or weakness.

• Heart Valve Disease involves heart valves that are not working correctly to regulate the flow of blood through the heart chambers. This can arise from birth defects or through damage by rheumatic fever, bacterial infection, or heart attacks. Valves also can degenerate with the normal aging process. To compensate, your heart must pump harder, and may be unable to supply adequate blood circulation to the rest of your body. Two common forms of heart valve disease are aortic valve stenosis and mitral valve regurgitation. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the ankles and legs, fatigue, dizziness, and/or fainting.

• Peripheral Vascular Disease involves the other arteries that run throughout your body. Like the coronary arteries in your heart, these vessels can become clogged and hardened through atherosclerosis, and can increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, or limb loss. Symptoms may also include pain in the leg muscles (particularly calves and thighs) and/or severe aching pain in your toes or feet at night.




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