What Is Coronary Stenosis?

Cigarette smoking can cause coronary stenosis.
Coronary stenosis occurs when a coronary artery becomes tapered and backed up with materials like fat or cholesterol.
Living a sedentary lifestyle puts one at a higher risk of developing coronary stenosis.
The anatomy of a heart attack. Cholesterol in the bloodstream can build up, causing coronary stenosis.
Article Details
  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Coronary stenosis is a condition in which a coronary artery becomes tapered and backed up with materials like fat or cholesterol. A coronary artery is a blood vessel located in the heart that is responsible for providing the heart with blood. If the artery becomes constricted, it can severely affect the heart’s functioning and may ultimately become fatal.

If the coronary artery becomes injured somehow, it can result in coronary stenosis. Cholesterol is a solid material that can attach to the insides of blood vessels and affect their ability to carry blood to the heart. Having high levels of cholesterol in the blood can damage the coronary artery, as can having high blood pressure levels. Smoking can also cause the condition because the nicotine in cigarettes can make blood vessels become narrowed and more susceptible to becoming blocked.

Mild instances of coronary stenosis may not have any symptoms. Once the condition becomes worse and the artery becomes more tapered, it can result in a tight feeling in the chest because it has to fight against the clogged materials to pass blood through. It can also cause difficulty breathing, especially after physical activity, because the heart doesn’t have as much oxygen from blood. If left untreated, the blood in the artery can clot and completely block it from providing the heart with blood, resulting in a heart attack.

Ad

Coronary stenosis can be treated with the use of medications. A doctor may prescribe blood thinning medication so blood can more easily get through a constricted coronary artery. If a person has high cholesterol levels, he or she can take medication to lower amount of cholesterol in blood, making it less likely to cause blockage. Medications to lower blood pressure can prevent stenosis from worsening.

The condition can also be treated with surgery. One of the most common surgeries for coronary stenosis is angioplasty, in which a surgeon inserts an unfilled balloon into the clogged area and uses an instrument to fill the balloon with air. This forces excess materials closer to the walls of the artery, freeing up space for blood to pump through. More serious cases of coronary stenosis, such as if more than one artery is clogged, may need bypass surgery. A surgeon cuts a piece of a vein from another body part and attaches it to the blocked area to redirect blood around any narrowed coronary arteries.

As a person gets older, he or she is more likely to have coronary stenosis, but the condition may also be hereditary. It is more common in males than females, but can occur in anyone. Having a sedentary lifestyle or being obese puts a person at a higher risk for developing stenosis. It can be prevented by getting daily exercise, eating a diet low in saturated fats, not smoking, and seeking treatment for high cholesterol or blood pressure.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon939233
Post 3

We received a CT screening test for my husband of 1886.9 normal being 143.5 It is 3 weeks before we could get an appointment with a heart doctor. Are we safe for three weeks?

Nefertini
Post 2

@Ceptorbi, good for you. Coronary blockage is one of the leading causes of death for women, and lifestyle changes like the ones you mention can reduce your risk. Heredity plays a factor, too, but you can't control your genes. You can control things like whether or not you smoke and whether or not you're obese or live a sedentary rather than active lifestyle.

Ceptorbi
Post 1
I'm reaching the age where a lot of my friends and acquaintances are developing coronary problems and having to get bypass surgery and/or coronary stents. It's making me watch what I eat and exercise more to lose weight so I have fewer factors that will make me prone to heart issues.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email