Cardiology is a branch of internal medicine that deals with diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart, the vessels near the heart, and the circulation.
Arterial hypertension occurs when the blood pressure values at rest or during a 24-hour measurement are above 140/90 mmHg on average. If arterial hypertension is diagnosed, drug therapy should be initiated, usually to be taken for life, to avoid consequential damage.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscles. The heart muscle thickens (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), and/or the heart cavities dilate (dilated cardiomyopathy). This leads to a reduced pumping capacity of the heart and a considerable reduction in physical performance.
Cardiac arrhythmias are all disorders of the electrical conduction in the heart. These can be either congenital or acquired. They can result in too slow (bradycardia) or too fast (tachycardia). A distinction is also made between benign (e.g., atrial fibrillation) or potentially life-threatening (e.g., ventricular fibrillation) heart rhythm disturbances.
The most important basis for diagnosis is the ECG. Depending on the type of cardiac dysrhythmia, the choice of therapy differs. The Department of Rhythmology is at our disposal for the differentiated treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, including catheter interventions.
Coronary heart disease leads to a progressive narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. If the blood vessels become acutely blocked, this is called a heart attack.
The heart valves ensure the correct blood flow to not flow back into the heart cavity. In illness, the valves no longer open sufficiently (stenosis), or the heart valves become permeable (insufficiency).
The atrial septal defect is a congenital heart malformation that occurs in 15–25% of people but causes no symptoms in the majority.
In the case of an atrial septal defect, there is a small opening in the septum in the area of the so-called Foramen ovale between the two atria. This opening exists in the unborn child but usually closes after birth.
The atrial septum defect can lead to pulmonary hypertension due to additional circulating blood. So-called crossed embolisms can cause transient ischemic attacks and strokes.
The atrial septum defect is closed through a catheter intervention. The opening is completed with a screen. Surgical closure is necessary for larger openings.
Atrial fibrillation, a form of cardiac arrhythmia, promotes blood clots' formation, mostly in the so-called left atrial ear (LAA). If these clots float away from the heart, they can block brain arteries, causing a stroke. Anti-clotting medication can prevent this. However, in some cases, the risk of bleeding is too high. In such a case, the left atrial ear may be closed for stroke prophylaxis.
The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the human body. It emerges from the left ventricle, rises, and runs over an arch into the abdomen. Above the diaphragm, it is known as the thoracic aorta (aorta thoracalis), and below as the abdominal aorta (aorta abdominalis). The thoracic aorta has an ascending part (aorta ascendens) and a descending part (aorta descendens). This subdivision is essential because the localization of the disease requires different therapeutic procedures. The most common disease of the aorta is a weakening of the vascular wall's elastic tissue, which leads to a dilatation (aneurysm) of the aorta. An aortic aneurysm can occur in all sections and involve other structures such as the aortic valve. With an aortic aneurysm, there is always the risk of an internal (dissection) or external rupture with correspondingly life-threatening bleeding complications.
In an ascending aneurysm, the diseased section of the vessel is replaced by a vascular prosthesis. Today, an aneurysm of the descending and abdominal arteries is usually stabilized by an endovascular stent prosthesis (internal vascular support). In some cases, a combination of both treatment methods is also useful.
In principle, a cardiac catheter examination or other invasive procedures are associated with risks. A correct indication and a detailed analysis before the procedure are therefore essential to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Due to concomitant diseases, the risks of intervention can vary in their probability. A personal consultation is essential to clarify the individual risk.