Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Treated in Baltimore at Mercy

The cardiologists at The Heart Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland have extensive expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. Our Board Certified heart specialists use a combination of tests and treatments to help or control symptoms of coronary artery disease.

About Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of cardiovascular disease. CAD refers to disease or damage to the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. It is the leading cause of heart attacks due to reduction of blood flow through the coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease can also cause other heart problems such as chest pain, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Coronary artery disease is often caused by atherosclerosis, the thickening of the walls of the arteries of the heart.
Symptoms & Diagnosis

Coronary artery disease can be “silent” until the disease is well advanced. Sometimes the first symptom is a heart attack. Some or all of these symptoms may be present:

  • Chest pain – pressure or squeezing feeling
  • Pain in shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back
  • Pain that tends to increase with activity
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of indigestion or chest discomfort
  • Pain brought on by stress or strong emotion

You should always consult your doctor if you have chest pain.

Diagnostic tests for chest pain can include:

  • Physical exam and medical history
  • EKG
  • Stress test
  • Echocardiography
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood tests
  • Coronary angiography
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT)
Treatment Options for Coronary Artery Disease

Medications can be used to lower high blood pressure and decrease high blood cholesterol. They can also reduce the strain on the heart, reduce the possibility of blood clots and prevent or delay the need for certain procedures or surgery.

When medications aren’t effective enough, a non-surgical procedure called angioplasty, (PCI – Percutaneous coronary intervention) which presses plaque deposits against the inside walls of affected arteries, may be used. This allows blood to flow more freely so that the heart can work better. Sometimes a device (stent) is placed inside the artery so it will stay open.

Lifestyle changes are important for returning to good health and lowering the chances of returning symptoms or complications. These may include:

  • Heart-healthy diet
  • Physical activity as advised by your doctor
  • Stopping smoking and limiting alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing and managing stress

Treatment may not make coronary artery disease go away completely, but the team of doctors at The Heart Center at Mercy Medical Center can use a combination of treatments to help improve your health and lifestyle.

The Heart Center at Mercy specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease, offering a comprehensive approach to the management of heart-related conditions.