Assessment Coronary Microvasculature

In depth assessment of microvascular heart blood supply

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What is assessment of coronary microvasculature?

During an invasive coronary angiogram, Dr Shand will place a pressure and temperature measurement wire into one of the heart arteries. Measurements will be taken at rest and during infusion through a drip of vasodilating medication. Following this assessment, Dr Shand will then administer further medication into the heart artery to test for vasospasm

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Why would you need assessment of coronary microvasculature?

Some patients continue to describe typical anginal symptoms – that is chest discomfort occurring predominantly with exertion, despite reassuring assessment of the major blood vessels of the heart with either CT coronary or invasive coronary angiography. In some cases, this can be explained by dysfunction of the coronary microvasculature or coronary artery vasospasm. Dr Shand uses a validated testing protocol during invasive coronary angiography to fully assess these aspects of heart artery function. Evidence suggests that this can better direct appropriate therapy and reduce symptom burden.

Frequently asked questions

In most cases the invasive coronary angiogram including assessment of the coronary microvasculature will take 20-30 minutes.

During this testing procedure the medication does cause symptoms of chest tightness and breathlessness. This only lasts for 1-2 minutes, is generally mild in nature and does not indicate a problem. Dr Shand will explain what is happening in advance of the administration of any medication.

In patients with a history of severe asthma, the medication we use can precipitate an asthma attack. Whilst acute asthma is a treatable condition, Dr Shand and his team will ask you in advance of any procedure if you do have severe asthma and an alternative investigation may be recommended. As a wire is being placed in the heart artery, there is a very small risk of damage to the artery which is in almost all cases managed conservatively or treated with stent implantation.

Related Services

Registered Provider

VHI healthcare registered Cardiologist Dublin
Irish life registered cardiologist
Laya Healthcare registered provider

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