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Coronary Artery Disease

Clip Number: 3 of 21
Presentation: Transesophageal Echocardiogram
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Now that you have seen how a healthy heart works, we will discuss the different heart diseases that can affect your heart valves, your coronary arteries and the pumping ability of your heart.
Heart valves are made of thin flaps of tissue that open and close to let blood through. Sometimes valves will stenose, or narrow. When this happens, blood is forced through a smaller opening than normal. Less blood circulates through the heart and to the rest of the body.
Another problem related to valves is incompetence, also called regurgitation or leakage. This occurs when a valve does not close properly, allowing blood to leak backwards.
Heart disease in the coronary arteries occurs when they become clogged from a buildup of cells, fat and cholesterol. This buildup is called plaque. As the inside of the coronary arteries gather plaque and narrow, they restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.
Without proper blood and oxygen, the heart muscle eventually weakens and deteriorates.

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