Factors That Affect the Choice of Treatment in Coronary Artery Disease
coronary artery disease depends on a number of
things, along with your personal preferences and general health status.
Think about the following when you make decisions about your
How severe is the chest pain or discomfort (angina), and will it respond to medicine?
- In most cases, mild, ongoing, stable angina can
be controlled using medicine alone.
stable angina that does not respond well to medicine
is considered severe and may require further evaluation and
- Unstable angina
means that a heart attack may soon occur and that
angioplasty or surgery may be needed.
Before considering treatments, your doctor will use tests to check how your heart is working.
Your doctor might check:
- How your heart responds to increased oxygen
demand (exercise stress test).
- How effectively your heart pumps blood (ejection fraction).
- If a normal amount of blood is reaching the heart muscle (cardiac perfusion scan).
What are your personal choices about treatment?
Another important consideration is your personal choice. People who
can get information from their doctors about the risks and benefits of their
treatment options are able to make better decisions.
Some people may feel intimidated or afraid to question their
doctor. But it's very important to understand not only why your doctor is
recommending a certain treatment but also the risks and benefits of that
Other things that affect the decision include:
- Age. Older people, especially those with other
long-term health problems, are at increased risk for surgical
- Health status. People with other lifelong health
conditions (such as diabetes or lung or kidney disease), those who have
impaired mental function, and those whose nutritional status is poor also have
a higher risk of surgical complications.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology|
|Last Revised||April 5, 2012|