Category: <span>Cardiovascular</span>

Did You Know What a Thoracic Aortic Dissection Is?

What is the Aorta?

The aorta is undoubtedly the largest and most important blood vessel in the human body. It originates in the heart and passes through two chambers, the thorax, and the abdomen until it undergoes a division at the level of the navel.

During its journey, it emits arterial branches rich in oxygenated blood, which goes to the arms, the brain, and all the vital organs such as the kidneys, intestines, and lower limbs, among others.

The dissection of the thoracic aorta is a break of its inner wall, called the inner layer. When this rupture occurs, the aorta internally divides in two, and blood can be distributed unevenly between the organs.

The incidence of aortic dissection in the world is about 6 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year.

Causes of thoracic aortic dissection

Thoracic aortic dissection usually occurs due to structural problems in the wall of this vessel. Didactically we can separate them into two groups:

  • The first is the one in which the patient, severely hypertensive and a long-term smoker, on average 60 years of age, will present chronic damage to the inner layer of the aorta, until one day it may rupture. There are times when the patient already has a dilated aorta that precedes the dissection.
  • The second is a group of younger patients, 30 to 40 years old, who suffer from genetic diseases such as Marfan, Ehlers-Danlos, and Turner Syndrome among others, or have a structural change in the heart called the bicuspid aortic valve. Some of these genetic syndromes involve collagen problems, and patients have structural changes in the middle layer of the aorta, which may one day be dissected.

Other less frequent situations, but that can also be triggers for aortic dissection, are pregnancy, trauma, and the use of illicit drugs, especially cocaine.

Symptoms of thoracic aortic dissection

The most common symptom in the acute phase is severe chest pain. Some patients report having the distinctive sensation of something breaking or tearing within them.

The main differential diagnosis is acute myocardial infarction. Other mild chest pains, such as muscle pain or dyspeptic seizures (gastritis), can also be considered.

Pain in the neck, back, or abdomen may also be reported.

Treatment for thoracic aortic dissection

Initial treatment consists of stabilizing the patient’s blood pressure, sometimes with intravenous therapy and rapid reconstructive surgery if a risk of cardiac tamponade or organ system ischemia is identified.

When the initial portion of the ascending aorta is affected, close to the outlet of the heart, it is usually necessary to perform open surgery, opening the sternum, and change the diseased portion of the aorta for a Dacron prosthesis.

Most ischemic organ correction techniques and interventions in other portions of the Aorta now receive full endovascular therapy, with less patient morbidity and faster recovery.

For more information on this disease and treatment options, consult Dr. Ritwick Raj Bhuyan.

Director: Department of Cardiovascular Surgery
Fortis Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre, Okhla
New Delhi, India
For Appointments
P| +91 9870217444
P| +91 9911065980
P| +91 9999802642
W| +91 9911065980 (WhatsApp)

How does SARS Covid-19 affect the health heart?

The damage that the coronavirus can produce in the heart is not only through thrombotic phenomena, but it also produces direct damage, affecting both the arteries (it would condition acute myocardial infarction) and the heart muscle (arrhythmias or heart failure).

Of all patients infected by Coronavirus, 40% are asymptomatic compared to 60% symptomatic (28% of these require admission to intensive care areas) and many of them die, especially patients with previous pathologies or the elderly. 

The main symptoms of SARS-CoV2 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and other less common symptoms. Cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure or arrhythmias are the most common comorbidity in patients affected by Covid-19. They are present in all phases of the disease and condition mortality.

Clotting, thrombus formation, and heart failure

The pathophysiological mechanism by which the virus affects the cardiovascular system is not fully established, but it has been described that the virus generates altered coagulation, which conditions the formation of thrombi, with platelet aggregation, causing an increase in stroke, infarction myocardial or peripheral thrombosis.

The virus also causes direct damage affecting the arteries and the heart muscle, increasing the possibility of acute myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, or heart failure, even in patients without previous heart disease. Heart attacks are not as common as strokes, but they have been shown to kill five times more than SARS-CoV2 patients.

For this reason, patients affected by the virus in advanced stages or at increased risk of thrombosis should be anticoagulated to prevent complications. Whereas, patients with previous heart failure have a higher risk of being admitted to the intensive care unit and require greater care.

Patients with previous pathologies

It has been seen that patients with previous cardiovascular disease (arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or previous heart disease) and patients with obesity have a worse prognosis.

And it has been described that among patients admitted with Coronavirus, the percentage of patients with a cardiovascular history reaches up to 40%, including cardiovascular disease (15%), hypertension (15%), and diabetes (20%).

Also, age older than 60 years, male sex, and the presence of comorbidities are the main factors associated with the severity of the SARS-CoV2 condition and mortality.

Medium and long-term cardiac consequences

The effect of Covid-19 in the acute phase of the disease has been studied, but its effect in the medium-long term is unknown. Cardiac MRI studies have been performed after the acute phase, and involvement of the cardiac muscle with decreased left ventricular function has been described above all, which could lead to long-term cardiac complications.

Also, it has recently been described that patients with mild infection in the acute phase, at three months of follow-up may present multiorgan involvement, which highlights the importance of close follow-up in patients.

Everything described, associated with the great impact that the pandemic has had on the health system, indicates the need for continued investigation of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of the Coronavirus and the different consequences that it can leave.

What you should know…

  • After 10 days of the disease, an inflammatory response predominates, affecting various organs, including the cardiovascular system.
  • It has been seen that patients with previous cardiovascular disease (arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or previous heart disease) and patients with obesity have a worse prognosis.


How To Reduce The Risk Factors Of Cardiovascular Disease!

Are you interested in reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease? Do you want to have a healthy and robust heart?

A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease: people who exercise little are twice as likely to have a heart attack and three times more likely to die from the attack than people who exercise regularly.

Regular physical activity is one of the most critical elements for reducing cardiovascular risk and is one factor that can be changed without drug treatment, but only with a little effort. With regular physical activity, the heart becomes more robust and more resistant to fatigue.

Aerobic activity increases the body’s demand for oxygen and increases the heart and lungs’ workload, making the heart and circulation more efficient.

A trained heart pumps more blood without additional expenditure of energy. Exercise regularly decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The good news is that you can change certain bad habits that are endangering your heart health with a little effort. Change these habits below.

Spending too much time sitting

Do you exercise regularly? Perfect! If you spend most of the time sitting, it could be a problem. Your body needs to stay active throughout the day, even if it involves small actions.

In case you have an office job, it is essential to take a short walk at least every hour to promote blood circulation. You can walk around in the office to activate your leg’s blood circulation and give your back and neck some rest. Keep moving is easier than you think.

Are you watching your favourite show? How about doing some neck and eyes exercise during commercial breaks? You can also use a treadmill or exercise bike while watching TV.

Believing yourself too young

Postponing the necessary health checkups on your health and heart is a prevalent thing nowadays. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels are habits to cultivate as soon as possible.

It will not only improve your health but your body as well. The perfect time to take care of the heart and body health is now.

You do not know the raw numbers of your health.

What is your cholesterol level? What about your blood pressure? Have you any idea? Bad habits, such as ignoring this information, are genuinely troubling.

These values ​​could indicate the presence of problems that you do not even suspect. You may feel wonderful despite having high blood pressure or cholesterol. If you are over the age of 20, it’s a good idea to have a full checkup every 4 or 6 months.

Regular physical activity plays an important role in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight. The amount of physical activity is as important as the food we eat, because having the right weight means balancing the energy consumed by the body through food and that consumed with physical activity.

Overweight people are more prone to hypertension and to have a high cholesterol value, and therefore have a greater risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Healthy Heart, 7 Tips to Keep it always at its Best

Engaging in moderate physical activity, at least three hours per week, is essential for maintaining good heart health and reducing the risk of suffering from coronary heart disease. The heart is the most important muscle in the body and we often don’t give it the care it deserves, at least until something no longer works as it should.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death around the world. To avoid these health problems, we recommend that you keep your heart healthy. But how is it done? We explain it to you in this article.

Tips for a healthier heart

The healthy habits are essential to live better and longer. Reducing the risk of suffering from heart disease is simple, but it depends on the effort we are ready to make and how much we want to change our daily life. The little things of everyday life can make the difference between having a healthy heart and suffering from heart disease.

In addition to those factors that we cannot change (gender, age, genetic inheritance, etc.), it is worth making the effort and leading a healthier life to take care of this important muscle. So, pay attention to our tips today.

Always Adopt a balanced diet

It is not a question of abandoning flour, fried foods or sugars forever, or of starting a vegetarian diet, but simply of combining well the foods we eat. The abuse of saturated fats and industrially produced foods must be avoided, as the amount consumed of these products is directly proportional to the risk of suffering from heart problems.

  • It is also very important to pay attention to the consumption of salt, red meat and pastry products.
  • Also, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet will allow you not only to have a healthier heart, but also to improve the functions of all other organs.
  • Legumes, nuts and whole meal flour must also be present in your dishes.

Do Exercise Regularly

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease. Sport, on the other hand, is full of benefits, including weight loss, the prevention of arteriosclerosis and the reduction of cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

For adults, it is recommended that you do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (or 75 minutes of strenuous exercise) to maintain a healthy heart. The ideal sports are aerobic ones: walking fast, cycling, swimming or running.

Eat healthy Food and Snaks

Whether you are at home or in the office, try to change the habits that drive you to choose unhealthy snacks between meals. In the middle of the morning, instead of choosing a latte with a croissant, eat a yogurt with cereals or a fruit.

  • When you get home from work, choose sunflower seeds or almonds instead of lying on the sofa with a packet of chips.
  • Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring or bland.
  • How about some stick carrots with hummus or aborigine cream? Or a sandwich with whole meal bread, avocado and lean turkey? There are thousands of options to choose from!

Reduce Stress

Obviously there is a very close relationship between nervousness and anxiety and heart problems. Some people are more likely to suffer from stress or get overwhelmed by negative thoughts. If you are one of these people, you urgently need some relaxation techniques. You can try yoga, meditation or even therapy.

Avoid smoking and alcohol

Tobacco contains many dangerous substances which, in addition to being a major cause of lung or esophageal cancer, also have a harmful effect on the heart, veins and arteries. Cigarette smoking increases the chance of thrombosis and reduces blood flow. You also need to be careful if you don’t smoke, because you run the same risks when someone close to you has this habit.

As for the consumption of alcohol, it must be emphasized that a glass of red wine a day is not bad; indeed it is excellent for health.

Other alcoholic beverages, however, especially if consumed in excess, because serious heart problems. The appearance of cardiovascular disease is closely linked to excessive alcohol consumption.

Maintain your ideal weight

Problems of obesity and being overweight are also linked to various heart problems. Body mass index is a fact that can help you figure out exactly how many pounds or inches you need to lose (although it’s not the only useful method).

  • Losing 10% of your body weight is enough to regulate blood pressure and improve arterial health.
  • Knowing what our ideal size or weight is does not have to be a reason for obsession and weight loss at any cost.
  • Reducing the quantities little by little is much healthier than starting a “miracle” diet that promises to lose 10 kilos in a week. You don’t even have to stop eating to reach your goal, because you will only go hungry.

Get enough sleep

How much would “enough” be? It depends on each of us, but a young adult is estimated to need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep a night. Adopting the right sleep habits is good for your heart, as it reduces the risk of suffering from rapid heartbeat or heart attacks.

If we sleep only a few hours, our body is unable to produce the necessary amount of serotonin, which takes care of making us feel good and helps to have a healthy heart. If the body does not get the right dose of this hormone, it can trigger a greater desire to eat and drink.

9 Common Heart Surgeries

1: Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR) – This procedure is usually performed to treat angina when no other treatments work. A small incision is done in the chest to expose the heart muscle, and a high-energy laser is used to make one millimeter wide channels inside the heart. The outer areas of the channels are closed, but the inner ones remain open to improve blood flow. It isn’t fully understood how TMR works, but there is evidence this surgery helps the heart grow tiny new blood vessels, which relieve angina.

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