Diagnosis & Disease Information

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, are a class of medications widely prescribed for treating hypertension and other cardiac conditions. Since the approval of the first ACE inhibitors in 1981, they have contributed to the reduction in the morbidity and mortality rates of patients with chronic kidney disease, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and myocardial infarction (MI).

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are two options for the treatment and management of coronary artery disease. Advancements in imaging techniques, including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, intravascular ultrasound, and optical coherence tomography, have improved the detection of patients’ needs for PCI vs CABG interventions.

Sodium nitroprusside is a potent, fast-acting, and titrable vasodilator used for a variety of indications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including acute heart failure with decompensation, acute hypertensive emergencies, perioperative hypotension induction, and reduction of bleeding during surgery. Off-label uses for nitroprusside include acute ischemic stroke associated with hypertension. Due to the side effect and toxicity profile of nitroprusside, it has partially been replaced by newer agents.

Mitral stenosis (or mitral valve stenosis) is a type of valvular heart disease. The narrowing of the mitral valve orifice can be caused by a number of issues, including infective endocarditis, mitral calcifications, congenital heart defects, and rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic heart disease mitral stenosis is the most common type of mitral stenosis.

Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is a technique used in interventional cardiac catheterization to determine how much blood flow a coronary artery can supply to the heart muscle without compromising the function of the heart. FFR is measured by passing a small catheter through the coronary arteries and injecting a contrast agent into the artery. FFR is the current standard of care for the evaluation of lesions in intermediate-grade stenosis. It is more precise than non-invasive techniques in determining the functional significance and ischemic potential of the observed lesion.

Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, or WPW syndrome, is a condition that occurs when an extra electrical pathway in the heart causes a rapid heartbeat leading to congenital pre-excitation of the heart. In some cases, conduction through this accessory pathway leads to malignant tachyarrhythmias. In a normal heart, electricity is conducted from the atria to the ventricles through the atrioventricular (AV) node.

Ventricular arrhythmia is a condition where the pumping of the heart ventricles is abnormal. Ventricular arrhythmias produce a broad range of conditions, from premature ventricular complex to ventricular fibrillation. The clinical presentations can vary, from lack of symptoms to cardiac arrest. Cases of ventricular arrhythmias can be lethal, as when presenting with ventricular fibrillation or when caused by myocardial infarction.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) continuously monitors an individual’s heartbeat and delivers an electric ICD shock when needed to restore a regular heart rhythm. They are used for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in individuals with increased risk of life-threatening ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF), and for the secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death in individuals with previous sustained VT, VF, or who were resuscitated due to likely VT or VF.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) restores mechanical synchrony in the heart by adding a left ventricular pacing lead to a pacemarker or defibrillator system. Coordinated pacing of the left and right ventriculars allows for resynchronization of ventricular contraction. Approximately 40% of patients with systolic heart failure are candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy.

A bifurcation lesion is a common health issue that occurs when a coronary artery narrows, adjacent to or involving a significant side branch. These are caused by plaque deposits comprised of fat. Bifurcations are a type of coronary artery disease, a serious medical condition that ranks as the leading cause of death in the United States. A coronary bifurcation lesions can be either simple or complex, accounting for approximately 20% of all percutaneous coronary interventions.