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+90 541 245 8517
İstanbul/Turkey
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Cardiology

Cardiology

Cardiology has an important place among Prometeymed treatment services. Cardiovascular diseases are becoming increasingly common worldwide and are listed as the leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases. Prometeymed’ services for cardiovascular diseases aim to prevent potential problems not only when they occur, but also by including annual check-ups.

We offer our patients from all over the world the opportunity to be tested in detail for cardiovascular diseases and ensure that they receive quality treatment for existing and potential problems. The physicians, clinics and hospitals we work with in this field are among the world’s leading centers in their fields.

For detailed information on cardiology, we recommend that you read the detailed content we have prepared for you and do not hesitate to consult Prometeymed experts in any matter.

Cardiology is a medical specialty and a branch of internal medicine that deals with heart diseases. Cardiology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, electrophysiology, heart failure and valvular heart disease. Subspecialties of cardiology include cardiac electrophysiology, echocardiography, interventional cardiology and nuclear cardiology.

What is cardiology?

The term cardiology is derived from the Greek words “cardia” meaning heart and “logy” meaning “study”. Cardiology is a branch of medicine that deals with diseases and disorders of the heart, ranging from congenital defects to acquired heart diseases such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.

Doctors specializing in cardiology are called cardiologists and are responsible for the medical requirements of various heart diseases. In addition, cardiac surgeons are specialized doctors who perform surgical procedures to correct heart conditions.

What do cardiologists do?

Adult cardiologists only deal with adult patients. Although cardiologists can treat a congenital heart defect in adults, their work largely covers disorders that develop later in life, often as a result of cardiovascular disease. The conditions that a cardiologist can treat can be broadly categorized as follows:

  • Atherosclerotic diseases are diseases that develop as a result of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque in the arteries that gradually blocks blood flow and leads to hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias are disturbances in the heart’s electrical system. The term arrhythmia refers to an abnormal beating of the heart. Cardiac arrhythmias include bradycardia (slow heartbeat), tachycardia (fast heartbeat) and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
  • Heart valve disease is a dysfunction of the heart’s tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral or aortic valve. This can be caused by abnormal narrowing of a valve or a leaky valve (regurgitation).
  • Heart infections and inflammations of the heart are characterized by their location. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the outer membrane around the heart, known as the pericardium. Endocarditis is an infection of the heart valve or the inner lining of the heart. Myocarditis is a rare disorder of the heart muscle that often occurs in people without health problems.
  • Heart failure is when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs and can affect one or both sides of the heart. Congestive heart failure is a type in which the blood returning to the heart is backed up, causing congestion and fluid build-up in tissues (edema).
  • Cardiac arrest is, as the name suggests, a complete stop of the heart. Sudden cardiac arrest is most commonly associated with coronary artery disease, but can also be caused by any condition that causes the heart’s electrical system to suddenly fail.

Pediatric cardiology

Pediatric cardiologists are doctors who treat only children. As with adult cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists may encounter conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure or hypertension, but the causes of these conditions are often not related to age, smoking, diet or other lifestyle factors that contribute to heart disease in adults.

Most cardiovascular conditions in children are congenital, meaning the child is born with the problem. These problems include:

  • Arteriosus (an extra blood vessel in the heart)
  • Atrioventricular canal disorder (a hole between the left and right sides of the heart)
  • Ebstein anomaly (a defect of the tricuspid valve)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (underdevelopment of the left side of the heart)
  • Incompletely developed aortic arch (an underdeveloped aorta)
  • Septal defect (an abnormal connection between the chambers of the heart)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (a combination of four congenital defects)
  • Total abnormal pulmonary venous return (abnormal connection of four pulmonary veins to the heart)
  • Transposition of the great arteries (a condition in which the aorta and pulmonary arteries connect to the wrong sides of the heart)
  • Tricuspid atresia (a missing tricuspid valve)

Cardiology subfields

There are several sub-specialties in cardiology, including

  • Nuclear Cardiology – this field focuses on the accurate diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases using infarct imaging, planar imaging, myocardial perfusion imaging and SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography).
  • Interventional Cardiology – the field of study that involves the use of intravascular catheter-based techniques in the treatment of coronary artery disease, congenital heart and valvular diseases. Interventional cardiologists perform congenital heart defect corrections, valvuloplasties, coronary thrombectomy and angioplasties.
  • Echocardiography – this involves using machines equipped with ultrasound technology to create images of the heart chambers, valves and nearby structures. Echocardiography is used to identify infections and structural abnormalities of the heart valves.
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology – this involves studying the mechanism of electrical currents occurring in the heart muscles to determine heart health. Electrophysiology tests measure electrical signals in the heart and diagnose abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and accelerated heartbeats (tachycardia).

Cardiology appointment

A cardiologist typically performs a variety of tests to diagnose a heart condition. These may include:

  • Auscultation, a stethoscope can be used to hear normal and abnormal heart sounds.
  • Blood pressure readings may be taken to measure your diastolic and systolic blood pressures.
  • Blood tests may be done to measure blood lipids, homocysteine, ferritin and general inflammation associated with heart disease.
  • An electrocardiogram, which measures electrical activity during the heartbeat, may be performed.
  • A Holter monitor, a portable ECG device that continuously monitors the heart rhythm for 24 hours, can be worn.
  • Event monitor, a portable ECG device that records heart activity in two to seven minute bursts over one or more weeks.
  • A cardiac stress test that measures heart function during exercise (such as running on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bicycle) can be performed.
  • Coronary catheterization, where a catheter is inserted into the heart through a blood vessel, can be used to measure heart function.
  • An echocardiogram is a form of ultrasound that uses sound waves to visualize the heart and blood movement.
  • Computed tomography angiography (CTA), a type of computerized X-ray that creates three-dimensional “slices” of the heart and major blood vessels, may be performed.
  • Coronary calcium scanning, which uses computed tomography (CT) to look for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of imaging study that uses magnets and radio waves to create highly detailed images, especially of soft tissue.

During a Cardiology appointment, your cardiologist will determine the appropriate test for you and prescribe a course of treatment based on the results.

Cardiology treatment process

Cardiologists are specialists trained in both various non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments. People who need surgery or have problems that require more invasive procedures are referred to a cardiothoracic or vascular surgeon.

Many chronic cardiovascular conditions can be treated or controlled with medicines. These include medicines that lower your blood pressure (such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor inhibitors, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers) and improve blood cholesterol (statins and cholesterol absorption inhibitors).

In addition to medications, there are a number of procedures that cardiologists are authorized to perform:

  • Angioplasty is the process of feeding a tube into a blood vessel to block a vein or artery by inflating a small balloon.
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a procedure that involves inserting small tubes called stents to open narrowed arteries.
  • They may perform pacemaker implantation, which involves an internal or external device to correct heart rhythm disturbances.
  • They may implant a cardiac defibrillator, which involves a small device placed under the skin of the upper chest to deliver an electric shock when needed to normalize the heart rhythm.
  • For people with congestive heart failure, they can perform cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), which involves a special pacemaker that coordinates the movement of the left and right ventricles.