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Pathology of Ischemic Heart Disease

Dr Sampurna Roy MD 





Ischemic heart disease is a group of closely related syndromes due to ischemia, which means an imbalance between the supply and demand of the heart for oxygenated blood.


Related post:

Assessment of Ischaemic Myocardial Damage

Sudden Cardiac Death



Ischemia results not only from lack of oxygen (hypoxia, anoxia), but also due to reduced availability of nutrients and inadequate removal of metabolites.


Ischemia may be caused by:


1. Reduced coronary blood flow (more than 90 % of cases), due to atherosclerosis with vasospasm or thrombosis or both.


Uncommon causes of reduced blood flow are arteritis, emboli, cocaine-induced vasospasm and shock with  systemic hypotension.


2. Increased myocardial demand exceeding vascular supply  - Example: Tachycardia, hypertrophy.


Reduced oxygen supply due to certain conditions may contribute to cardiac damage .

Example:  Severe anemia ;  advanced lung disease ; cyanotic congenital heart disease ; carbon monoxide poisoning or cigarette smoking.


 1. Angina pectoris.  ; 2. Acute myocardial infarct.


Further reading:

Ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and their effects on cognitive function.

The role of the autophagy in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Sudden death due to coronary artery insufficiency as a result of massive cardiomegaly - a case report.

Acute Coronary Syndromes: Pathology, Diagnosis, Genetics, Prevention and Treatment.

Fibroblast Growth Factor-23, Cardiovascular Prognosis, and Benefit of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibition in Stable Ischemic Heart Disease.





Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)









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