After a myocardial infarction, the patient is under constant medical supervision. It is possible to finally confirm the presence of a disease only after the scarring of damaged tissues is completed, and this takes several months.
The doctor prescribes the patient the following diagnostic measures:
- ECG Allows you to identify the level of conduction of heart tissue and detect arrhythmias. Often used Holter monitoring during the day.
- Echocardiography, or ultrasound of the heart. Detects a change in wall thickness and a decrease in the ejection fraction of the left ventricle.
- Myocardial scintigraphy. A method for determining defective areas of the heart muscle using radioactive isotopes.
Your doctor may order additional tests and examinations.
Signs on an ECG and other diagnostic methods
It is immediately worth noting that the doctor can diagnose cardiosclerosis only after a thorough examination. To begin with, the specialist will conduct a general examination, get acquainted with the patient’s complaints. The history of the disease is extremely important here – post-infarction cardiosclerosis implies a previous heart attack, which must be recorded on the patient’s medical record.
In the future, some studies are prescribed. For example, electrocardiography is considered quite informative. It shows the presence of arrhythmias and conduction of the heart muscle. Patients also undergo an ultrasound scan of the heart, which is important for proper diagnosis. In particular, the doctor will have the opportunity to see the presence of aneurysm, determine the percentage of affected areas, measure the thickness of the heart wall and the size of the chamber.
In some cases, an additional x-ray of the chest organs, as well as tomography. Another important procedure is angiography of the coronary arteries. During the procedure, a contrast agent is injected into the affected area, and then its movement is monitored – this helps to determine the degree of the atherosclerotic process.
If the patient survived a heart attack, and this disease was discovered in a timely manner, then there are no problems with the diagnosis of post-infarction cardiosclerosis.
But there are times when the patient does not know about the transferred microinfarction, or even several, and at the same time he voices complaints indicating possible post-infarction cardiosclerosis (of unknown age). In such a situation, the doctor prescribes a comprehensive differential examination.
Diagnostic measures include:
- ECG This method is the easiest to detect post-infarction cardiosclerosis. An electrocardiogram will show the presence and localization of cicatricial sites, the size of the lesion area, changes in the rhythm of the heart and cardiac conduction, and the manifestation of aneurysm. The main sign on the ECG, indicating a heart attack, is a deep Q wave. Its position allows you to determine the site of scar localization. If the Q wave is located in leads II, III, aVF – then the scar is located on the lower wall of the left ventricle (LV). The location in leads V2-V3 indicates localization in the interventricular septum, in V4 – in the upper part of the left ventricle, in leads V5-V6 – on the lateral wall of the left ventricle. The T wave in cardiosclerosis is positive or smoothed, and the ST segment returns to the isoline. Sometimes the Q wave disappears due to myocardial hypertrophy, and then it is impossible to detect cardiosclerosis on the electrocardiogram. In this case, additional diagnostic methods are mandatory.
- Echocardiography. In the presence of a pathological condition, Echocardiography will show a thickening of the LV wall (norm – not more than 11 mm) and a decrease in LV ejection fraction (norm variant – from 50 to 70%). Echocardiography also allows you to detect areas with reduced contractility, aneurysms of the left ventricle.
- Chest x-ray.
- Scintigraphy of the heart muscle. With this diagnostic method, radioactive isotopes are introduced into the patient’s body, which are localized only in healthy muscle cells. This allows you to detect affected areas of the myocardium of small sizes.
- Computed or magnetic resonance imaging – is prescribed if necessary, when other methods of research did not provide the necessary information for making a diagnosis.
After drug treatment, the main medical recommendation is to limit physical activity. Although any load – emotional or physical – is strictly contraindicated, it can be dangerous for a patient to lead an inert lifestyle. The doctor will select a special regimen of therapeutic gymnastics, which must be performed, but not overstrained.
Cardiologist Vishnevsky Petr Leonidovich
Cardiologist, highly qualified doctor, Perm State Medical University named after academician E.A. Wagner.
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After a disease, a person receives a disability, but this does not mean that he can give up on himself. He needs constant care, but the main thing in the treatment of such diseases is the love and participation of loved ones.
After a heart attack and in the presence of cardiosclerosis, a person should not eat horribly and will have to completely abandon bad habits. Now tobacco and alcohol are the worst enemies that can cause the death of a patient.
In food, you will have to limit the amount of salt, abandon spices, spices, coffee, tea, fatty, fried, smoked products, pickles and marinades, egg yolks, offal, vegetables and fruits, greens with a high content of oxalic acid.
You should include low-fat dairy products, fish, seafood, seaweed, lean poultry and meat, citrus fruits, fruits, berries, fresh herbs, egg whites, nuts, dried fruits, legumes, high-quality vegetable oil, weak green tea (especially with lemon) in your menu , a decoction of rose hips.
Patients with a confirmed diagnosis will need to change their usual way of life in terms of physical activity and diet. Also, you will definitely need to give up smoking, drinking alcohol.
Heavy physical labor and power sports are prohibited, but you should not completely limit activity either. To determine the permissible load, it is necessary to consult a cardiologist and a specialist in exercise therapy.
They will give individual recommendations on the selection of a regimen of physical activity. Usually this is a set of physiotherapy exercises, swimming in the pool, walking at an unhurried pace for at least 30 minutes a day, 6 times a week.
Of particular importance for patients with cardiovascular disease is the diet. It is necessary to draw up a diet in such a way that it consists mainly of recommended foods.
- fruits (in particular citrus fruits), dried fruits (especially prunes), berries;
- fresh vegetables, herbs;
- skim milk and dairy products;
- lean meat and fish, seafood;
- egg white;
- oat and buckwheat porridge.
The following dishes will be banned:
- fatty meat products and offal (sausage, canned food);
- egg yolk;
- smoked, salty;
- hot spices;
- coffee, strong tea, energy drinks;
- fried foods;
- vegetables and fruits containing oxalic acid (radish, sorrel, gooseberries, currants).
If necessary, you may need to consult a nutritionist to create a daily menu.
Use of drugs
Only a doctor can determine which therapy requires cardiosclerosis. The treatment in this case is aimed at eliminating the main symptoms of the disease, as well as at preventing further complications – there are, unfortunately, no means to help restore the affected areas of the myocardium.
As a rule, patients are primarily prescribed beta-blockers, which act as antiarrhythmic drugs and reduce the heart rate (these are Egilok, Concor and some others). Therapy includes the use of ACE inhibitors, which lower blood pressure and prevent the stretching of the heart chambers.
In the presence of edema and accumulation of fluid, diuretics, such as Veroshpiron, Lasiks, Indapamide, are needed. These drugs do not only remove fluid, but also reduce the manifestations of heart failure.
Predictions for Patients
In post-infarction cardiosclerosis, the cause of death most often lies in too large a lesion area. If the scar occupies a significant part of the heart muscle or leads to serious changes in its work, which can provoke a fatal outcome.
The most dangerous complications of cardiosclerosis:
- paroxysmal tachycardia;
- ventricular fibrillation;
- cardiogenic shock.
Such conditions can cause death if the patient at this moment does not provide emergency medical care. And even with timely intervention in a significant number of cases, such conditions lead to the loss of the patient.
Unfortunately, the scarring process in this case is irreversible. Predictions for patients directly depend on the area of myocardial damage. In any case, a violation of the normal functioning of the heart muscle significantly affects the quality of life of the patient, and also affects the work of the whole organism.
Medication can slightly mitigate the effects of cardiosclerosis. But with the development of severe heart failure, the average life expectancy of the patient is five years – in the future, the only way to survive is a heart transplant operation.
When is surgery necessary?
Unfortunately, not in all cases using conservative methods can eliminate the manifestations of the disease called cardiosclerosis. Treatment can be surgical. For example, in severe cardiac arrhythmias, implantation of a pacemaker is indicated.
If there are abnormalities in the functioning of the coronary arteries, the doctor may recommend the patient to undergo coronary stenosis or angioplasty. If the disease is exacerbated by the development of aortic aneurysm, then its removal is indicated with further coronary artery bypass grafting.
Are there effective preventative measures?
The most effective is the prevention of the primary problem – myocardial infarction. That is why patients at risk should regularly undergo medical examinations to timely identify certain pathological processes.
In addition, diet is very important. Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cocoa, and also fried and fatty foods containing high cholesterol should be excluded from the diet. Naturally, you need to abandon bad habits, including smoking. From time to time it is recommended to take multivitamin complexes.
Specialists are also advised to spend time outdoors. A moderate physical activity will also have a positive effect on the state of the body. Regularly need to take courses of spa treatment in special cardiological sanatoriums.
In order to prevent the development of myocardial infarction and its consequences in the form of cardiosclerosis with long-term treatment, you need to pay great attention to your health, especially if there are cases of heart disease in the family.
Important preventative measures are as follows:
- Proper, balanced diet with a lot of vitamins and minerals, a reduced percentage of fat, a predominance of plant and lean foods. To the benefit of the heart will be the refusal to use synthetic products, as well as losing weight in the presence of excess weight. A special threat to health is internal (visceral) fat.
- The main reason for many serious illnesses is stress. A modern person experiences it in excess, therefore, to protect his health, stressful situations should be avoided by any means.
- The scourge of modern humanity is inactivity. We move a little, so our muscles are weak and flabby. And the heart is also a muscle, and it needs training. But when playing sports, you must always remember that tearing does not mean training. Walking, cycling, swimming, tennis, horse riding and gymnastics, especially yoga and Pilates, will help.
- Timely diagnosis and treatment of existing health problems also help to maintain a strong heart and blood vessels.
- A positive attitude is what prevents a person from dying even in the most difficult situations.
Preventive measures will help to make life fun and joyful, and heart – strong and healthy.
Stem Cell Elimination of Cardiosclerosis
Today, research is actively being conducted on the use of stem cells in the treatment of cardiosclerosis. It is believed that this technique can not only alleviate symptoms, but also restore the structure of the affected sections of the heart.
How is this treatment carried out? Doctors first harvest viable stem cells from the patient’s tissues. Next, the collected material is cultured in laboratory conditions, which allows to increase the number of cells. This process lasts 1-2 months.
After this period, the patient is prescribed two operations for stem cell implantation. During the procedure, these structures are attached to healthy areas of the myocardium. It’s no secret that stem cells can turn into any kind of cell – in this case, cardiomyocytes. Thus, during the year, the formation of new, healthy muscle structures that replace connective tissue elements takes place.
Are there effective alternative treatments?
Of course, traditional medicine is rich in a variety of recipes. And some herbs can really help with cardiosclerosis. For example, experts recommend taking decoctions of valerian roots, medicinal calendula, sandy immortelle flowers, and peppermint leaves. Such fees have antihypertensive properties and relieve spasm of the coronary vessels.
For the prevention of thrombosis, gifts of nature with anticoagulant properties are used, for example, Melilotus officinalis. But the yarrow grass, the flowers of the blood-red hawthorn and the leaves of the white birch normalize lipid metabolism and prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
But it is worthwhile to understand that self-medication in this case is strictly contraindicated. Medicinal herbs can only be used as adjuvant therapy.
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