Coronary Artery Disease, No. 1 Cause of Death in the World

 Publication Date: 1 November, 2021

Source: Headline Daily


We read from time to time on the news that someone while playing a sport collapsed on the ground. Some survived and some did not, depending on how soon the patients reached a hospital. One of the root causes of such sudden attack is coronary artery disease, the number one cause of death in the world according to the World Health Organization. Coronary artery disease, also called ischaemic heart disease, refers to a narrowing or blockage of coronary arteries, usually caused by the build-up of fatty material called plaque as it continues to collect on the artery wall and becomes narrow and stiffen which limits or stops blood flow to the heart muscle. If the heart does not get enough blood, it can’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to work properly. This condition is called ischemia and can lead to chest discomfort or chest pain (called angina). It also puts the person at risk for a heart attack and it can be fatal.

Sometimes a person would not have known if he or she has coronary artery disease until a heart attack occurs.

For many years, the medical profession has been working on the treatment of coronary artery disease. The treatment of coronary artery disease starts with a surgical approach called coronary artery bypass graft. The first successful case was performed in 1961.  We must give our utmost appreciation to Dr Andreas Grüntzig, a German radiologist and cardiologist who brought to the world, in 1977 the first successful balloon angioplasty for expanding lumens of narrowed arteries. This minimally invasive approach, now being called percutaneous coronary intervention, practically revolutionized the treatment of coronary artery disease. For Asians in general, minimally invasive procedure is considered much safer and preferred than open-heart surgery as they believe that ch’i can easily escape from a much bigger wound from surgery than balloon angioplasty.

Percutaneous coronary intervention is done with a long, thin tube called a catheter. It is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the wrist or the groin of the leg and guided to the blocked or narrowed area of the artery. A wire with a deflated balloon is passed through the catheter to the narrowed vessel. The balloon is then inflated, compressing the deposits against the artery wall. A drug stent which slowly releases the medication is often left in the artery to help keep the artery open.

OrbusNeich®’s mission is to be at the forefront of the percutaneous coronary intervention field to help save patients’ lives by introducing  innovative balloon and stent technologies.