How to Treat Coronary Artery Calcification

Coronary artery calcification is a build-up of calcium in the two main arteries of the heart, also called coronary arteries. This condition is universal in all patients with documented coronary artery disease and can provide information to your healthcare provider to help assess your cardiovascular risk. Although there is no known specific treatment for coronary artery calcification, there are several ways to reduce the risk and modify the progression of this condition. The first step in treating coronary artery calcification is to modify risk factors.

This includes following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, and losing weight if necessary. Additionally, it is important to treat any underlying conditions such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. During cardiac catheterization, techniques such as rotational, orbital or laser atherectomy and cutting balloons can be used in addition to the placement of a stent with drug release or with bare metal. Intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) has also been observed to modify severe coronary artery calcification in the Disrupt CAD III study.

A human study found that combining two plant extracts significantly reduced arterial plaque in the carotid arteries when added to diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle counseling. After one year, there was a 35% increase in the number of coronary artery calcifications in the group that received advice on diet, lifestyle and exercise, in addition to aspirin. The most recent procedure for treating coronary artery calcification uses a catheter (tube) with a device on the end that sends pressure waves to cause calcification to undo. It is important to note that although coronary artery calcification itself has no specific clinical manifestations, it has important prognostic implications.

Therefore, it is essential to take preventive measures and modify risk factors in order to reduce the risk of coronary artery calcification and its progression.

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