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"diffuse minor disease" - heart related - anyone??

(10 Posts)
lilolilmanchester Thu 28-Aug-08 22:06:38

following on from this thread, it's not angina but GP told my mum today she had "diffuse minor disease" and has to take statins and asprin. Well, can't find anything under that name on the internet so she might not have got it quite right - does the above mean anything to anyone please?

monkeyme Thu 28-Aug-08 22:19:06

Did she have an angiogram? (where they inject dye into the arteries to see if there are any blockages.) It means is that there are small areas of plaques (cholesterol build up) along the length of the arteries. These are not significant enough to warrant angioplasty or bypass grafts. The aspirin will reduce the chances of any blood clots forming on the surface of the plaques, and the statin will help to stop the plaques which are there getting any bigger.

lilolilmanchester Thu 28-Aug-08 22:31:02

Thanks monkeyme,a very clear explanation. Yes, she did have an angiogram, and they confirmed it wasn't angina. She'd been very breathless when walking uphill (tho no breathing problems anyother time and is generally very fit). Do you have any idea whether that will get any better, or will the treatment just stop it getting any worse? And any idea how serious it is (be honest please if you know). Thanks.

monkeyme Thu 28-Aug-08 22:42:48

Did she do a treadmill test (Exercise tolerance test) at all?

lilolilmanchester Thu 28-Aug-08 22:48:46

yes she did

geisha Fri 29-Aug-08 07:11:35

It sounds as if her they do not feel her symptoms are consistent with the severity of disease found during her angiogram. Aspirin and statin will not improve her symptoms. Has she had an echocardiogram? This would be important in determining whether the cause of her breathlessness is cardiac and due to any leaky valves or stretching of the left venticle. The angiogram would give some indicators about both of these but in most cases an echo would be more useful. After ruling out cardiac causes I would go back to the GP for referral for further investigations such as lung.

In older people it is can be normal to have some minor build up of plaque in the coronary arteries. I would be reassured by the angiogram in terms of coronary artery disease.

lilolilmanchester Fri 29-Aug-08 15:43:22

Thanks Geisha and Monkeyme for trying to help me understand this. She had an ECG, will ask her to mention further lung investigation. Unfortunately, she doesn't like suggesting things to doctors as "they know what's best" etc. Wish I lived closer!
Thanks again

geisha Fri 29-Aug-08 18:14:59

lilo - don't mistake echocardiogram "ECHO" for electrocardiogram "ECG". They are different tests. If she is breathless on exertion and has not had an echo, she needs one to rule out calcification of the heart valves and saggyness of the the left pumping ventricle. If her echo is normal, then I would start lookingfor non-cardiac causes.

monkeyme Fri 29-Aug-08 19:37:03

Just to throw even more at you.. when she says that she is breathless, is it puffing and panting as opposed to tightness or pressure in her chest? It can be possible to have disease in the small vessels which produces angina symptoms, even though the main arteries are OK. If she finds that she is still getting pain at night/shortness of breath then she needs to go back to the GP, it may well be that adding in another type of tablet may settle the angina type symptoms. I'd second what Geisha has suggested, that if the breathlessness persists that she ask for an ECHO.

lilolilmanchester Fri 29-Aug-08 19:47:53

ah ok, many thanks both of you, will feed that back to her. Breathless = puffing and panting when going uphill.

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