Andreas Gruentzig is credited with pioneering the field of interventional cardiology. In the 1970s, he performed a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. In the years that have followed, medical science has developed balloons, stents, steering wires and other devices that allow percutaneous coronary intervention to be performed on just about every patient who has some form of coronary artery disease.
What is Structural Heart Disease?
Structural heart disease is when there is an abnormality to the heart itself, but not an abnormality that affects the blood vessels. Many structural heart conditions are found at birth, meaning they are congenital. Some people will develop structural abnormalities as a result of normal wear and tear, after an infection or as the result of some other injury or underlying condition.
Symptoms of structural heart disease include:
- Kidney dysfunction
- Coronary artery disease
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
Coronary heart disease differs from structural heart disease in that it is something that affects the arteries. It develops when plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, limiting the oxygen-rich blood supply to a person’s heart muscles.
With time, a blood clot can form, limiting or completely blocking the blood flow through a coronary artery. Catheter-based approaches for coronary heart disease are a common part of modern medicine.
Catheter-Based Approaches for Structural Heart Disease
Interventional cardiology is now finding its way into the treatment of structural heart disease. Treating coronary artery disease using interventional cardiology techniques has proven to be successful in many cases.
If it is determined that the patient qualifies for this procedure, then two and three dimensional coronary maps will be used as a guide during the procedure. Treating structural heart disease is different than treating coronary artery disease. As such, the tools used are different. It is necessary to get a clear and direct image of the valvular and myocardial structures.
The first time that a catheter-based therapy was successful in treating structural heart disease was for a percutaneous mitral balloon valvotomy. Now, catheter-based therapy is the optimal approach for patients who qualify for the procedure.
Talk to Our Team
Many structural heart defects are present at birth. However, thanks to the advance in medical technology, including the use of catheter-based approaches for correcting structural heart abnormalities, people with heart defects have a higher chance of living a healthy life.
Schedule a consultation at Cardiac Associates of North Jersey to see if a catheter-based approach is right for treating your structural heart disease. Our office is located in Oakland. Contact us today to book your appointment to learn more.