What Is Cardiology?
The human body has a unique structure. The cornerstones of this unique structure are Movement, digestive, respiratory, excretory and circulatory systems. The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system, distributes the nutrients and oxygen required for the body systems to work in a coordinated way among the systems. Currently, diseases of the cardiovascular system are the most common cause of death in our country and all over the world. About a quarter of a million people have heart attacks every year in our country, and this number will continue to increase in the future. The branch of Science that deals with cardiovascular diseases is the branch of Cardiology.
What are cardiology-related diseases?
High blood pressure, major limb vascular diseases such as arms and legs, cardiovascular (coronary vessel) diseases, heart valve diseases, heart failure, rhythm disorders, lipid disorders are the main cardiovascular diseases that cardiology deals with.
What complaints can you apply with to a cardiology clinic?
Blood pressure disorders, shortness of breath, chest pain, arm and leg pain, edema, palpitations, rapid fatigue, dizziness and fainting can be considered as the most common complaints indicated in the application to cardiology outpatient clinics.
What are the examinations performed in cardiology outpatient clinic?
The cardiologist determines the diagnosis and treatment method by performing various tests according to the patient's complaints and examination findings. Among these tests, the most commonly used blood tests, ECG, Echocardiography (ECO), Exercise test, Lung X-ray film, Myocardial Perfusion Scintigraphy, Rhythm and Blood Pressure Holter, event recorder, Cardiac MRI imaging, Coronary CT angiography (Virtual angiography) and Coronary angiography can be counted.
ECG: It is a graph showing the electrical activity of the heart. It is an examination obtained with electrodes attached to the body and lasts about 5 minutes. It is an easy-to-apply rapid diagnostic test through which we can learn about many diseases such as heart rhythm disorders, cardiovascular stenosis, heart attack and heart membrane diseases.
RHYTHM HOLTER: It is a device that serves to record your heart rate for a long time with electrodes attached to the body. Although 24-hour recordings are usually taken, in some cases can be taken a longer-term recordings. It is a valuable study used in the detection of rhythm disorders that can cause complaints such as palpitations-fainting-stroke.
BLOOD PRESSURE HOLTER: It is a device that serves to record your blood pressure values for a long time with a blood pressure sleeve attached to your arm. Usually 24-hour records are taken. It can be used for diagnostic purposes in patients with suspected high blood pressure, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment in patients with high blood pressure disease who receive treatment. Also called 'white coat hypertension', people who do not normally have high blood pressure but who have high blood pressure values in the hospital environment can be diagnosed with this test.
EVENT RECORDER: It is a device that is used by patients to carry it for a long time and to make record by placing the device on the heart when they have complaints. It is the preferred examination in patients who do not complain every day and cannot be caught at the moment of complaint with a rhythm Holter device.
ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY: It is the examination of the heart by ultrasonographic method. Many congenital or acquired structural defects of the heart such as heart valve diseases, contractility problems, pericardial membrane disorders, heart muscle diseases and large vessel problems such as aorta can be detected with this test. This examination, which does not contain radiation and is performed by cardiologists, lasts about 10-15 minutes.
Exertion ECG (exertion test): It is a test in which the heart is forced by exercise performed according to certain protocols and the heart rhythm is monitored and recorded during this time. With this test, it is possible to diagnose cardiovascular diseases that do not show symptoms at rest and by increasing the heart rates can be determined according to the age of the person. Again, the exercise performance of patients with conditions such as heart valve diseases or lung diseases can be determined by this test. Although there are differences between people, the test lasts about 15 minutes.
MYOCARDIAL PERFUSION SCINTIGRAPHY: It is a test used in patients who cannot perform an exercise ECG due to orthopedic problems, inability to adapt, some ECG disorders, some heart valve diseases, etc. Again, in some patients with vascular stenosis, it can also be done to assess ischemia/viability in the vascular area or to determine the rate of heart contraction. It is done using radioactive material in nuclear medical centers. It is a test that compares images taken at rest and after exertion or drugs (Pharmacological) heart fatigue. It can provide reliable information about strictures in the heart vessels. The Test time is about 3-4 hours.
CORONARY CT ANGIOGRAPHY (VIRTUAL ANGIOGRAPHY): Computed tomography is an examination that lasts about 5 minutes in which the heart vessels are displayed. Cardiovascular strictures are detected in a very short period of time with high accuracy by testing using contrast matter With this method, stenosis is not treated, it is only a diagnostic method.
CORONARY ANGIOGRAPHY: It is the gold standard method for determining cardiovascular strictures. It is an examination that lasts about 30 minutes in which the heart vessels are displayed by entering from the wrist or groin area. It is performed under local anesthesia without any anesthesia in an environment similar to the operating room environment where the angiography device is located. Angiography, a diagnostic test, determines the location and degree of strictures in the vessels. Patients who have narrowness in their veins with angiography can usually be treated with balloon/Stent method in the same session. There are some differences between angiography performed from the wrist and those performed from the groin. In the examination performed from the wrist, the patient's comfort is higher, it is not necessary to lie on his back with a weight (sand bag), the patient can stand up earlier, and the risk of complications such as bleeding-bruising is less. Since the inguinal vein is a larger vein, operations that cannot be performed from the wrist in some cases can be performed from the groin.