Diagnosis & Disease

The 6-minute walk test measures the distance an individual can walk over 6 minutes on a hard, flat surface. It is a sub-maximal exercist test used to assess the functional heart and lung capacity of individuals to gauge tolerance to exercise and medical interventions. It can be used to evaluate patients with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and who experienced stroke.

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).

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that results from a functional or structural heart disorder. Acute heart failure is classified as new onset heart failure (also known as de novo heart failure) or worsening heart failure (also known as acutely decompensated heart failure). Treatment for acute heart failure is primarily symptomatic and centered around decongestive drugs. Acute heart failure is associated with high mortality.

Angina is chest pain or discomfort due to an imbalance between myocardial oxygen supply and demand. Antianginal drugs correct the ratio between myocardial oxygen supply and demand. Drug classes used in the treatment of angina (antianginal drugs) include beta-blockers (atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol), calcium channel blockers (amlodipine, nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem), and nitrates (isosorbide).

Atrial fibrillation is a tachyarrhythmia and considered the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation is the leading cause of stroke and increases the risk of heart failure development. The CHA2DS2-VASc score should be used to stratisfy patient risk of stroke. Patients at high risk of stroke are recommended to initiate anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy.

Atrial tachycardia is a type of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PVST), a group of arrhythmias that originate above the atrioventricular junction. Atrial tachycardia can occur after an ablation for the management of atrial fibrillation. Patients presenting with atrial tachycardia may experience palpitations, lightheadedness, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

Beta-blockers are used for a variety of indications, including hypertension, ventricular arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation or flutter, angina due to coronary atherosclerosis, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction. Non-selective beta0blockers (propranolol, nadolol, labetalol, pindolol, sotalol, carvedilol) should not be used in patients with asthma. Cardioselective beta-blockers (atenolol, betaxolol, bisoprolol, esmolol, acebutolol, metoprolol, and nebivolol) are appropriate to use in patients with asthma.

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.

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.

Chest pain is a prevalent medical complaint with a wide range of differential diagnoses. Life-threatening chest pain accounts for 5% of all emergency department visits. Chest pain can be caused by acute coronary syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (the most common non-cardiac cause of chest pain), pulmonary embolisms, pericarditis, or musculoskeletal factors. Complaints of chest pain increase after individuals are older than 30 years. The prognosis of chest pain varies on the cause.