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Overview of cardiovascular disease and how a cardiologist approaches diagnosis and therapy

by Joseph Alpert, MD
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    Hello! I’m Joseph Alpert. This is lecture number 7 in our series, “Introduction to Cardiology.” In this lecture, we are going to have a overview of the various cardiovascular diseases that the cardiologists deal with and then we are going to take a typical patient through the initial visit with the cardiologist, how the diagnosis is established, both from clinical findings and from a variety of tests and then we will talk about the therapy of this individual. So, what are the commonest diseases that a cardiologist deals with? Well of course, first, high blood pressure or hypertension. This is a very common problem affecting actually approximately 1/3rd of the US population and probably just as common in Western Europe. It is also very common in Asian populations. We are going to have an entire lecture on hypertension, but it’s an important factor in the development of atherosclerosis and is one of the commonest things that a cardiologist sees. The next, we have already talked about from the last lecture, and that is hyperlipidemia - elevated cholesterol, particularly elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is an important factor in the development of hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. And of course, here it is, public enemy number one - atherosclerosis. This is hardening of the arteries, the deposition of cholesterol in an inflammatory environment in the arterial wall that leads to heart attacks and strokes and heart failure and kidney failure and a whole variety of things that are constantly keeping the cardiologists working at a very high level. We have very good drugs for this and very good interventional therapy in the catheterization laboratory and in the surgical arena. This is the number one cause of death in the world and consequently, the most common thing that a cardiologist sees....

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Overview of cardiovascular disease and how a cardiologist approaches diagnosis and therapy by Joseph Alpert, MD is from the course Introduction to the Cardiac System. It contains the following chapters:

    • Overview of cardiovascular disease
    • How to make a diagnosis and decide on therapy
    • A typical patient

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Cirrhosis of the liver
    2. Mitral valve stenosis
    3. Cardiac trauma from a motor vehicle accident
    4. Constrictive pericarditis
    1. A nuclear stress test
    2. An MRI scan
    3. A 24 hour ambulatory EKG monitor recording
    4. An echocardiogram
    1. Only a minority of patients with chest pain who come to emergency department are found to have a myocardial infarction.
    2. Patients who come to the emergency department complaining of chest pain should be sent home immediately with a prescription for aspirin.
    3. Most patients with chest pain who seek medical attention in the emergency department are found to have suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
    4. All patients who come to the emergency department complaining of chest pain should be seen by a gastrointestinal specialist.
    1. Myocardial infarction
    2. Cirrhosis of the liver
    3. Viral pneumonia
    4. Cancer of the pancreas
    5. Ulcerative colitis

    Author of lecture Overview of cardiovascular disease and how a cardiologist approaches diagnosis and therapy

     Joseph Alpert, MD

    Joseph Alpert, MD


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