Annual check-up and exercise can prevent clogging of vital arteries

DUBAI - Sudden death is the inevitable and fatal result of a blockage of the left main trunk, one of the major blood vessels feeding the heart. Dr Marc Silvestri, a specialist interventional cardiologist from Marseille, France, warned that the only symptoms of such a blockage can be someone collapsing and dying without warning. He urged people who are at high risk to get regular annual check-ups and lead healthy lives.

By Hani M Bathish

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Published: Fri 3 Sep 2004, 11:10 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:43 PM

Dr Silvetsri, a pioneer in using stents in France since 1992, told Khaleej Times that smokers, people who do not get any regular exercise, those who have high cholesterol level and suffer from hypertension are at high risk of developing blockages. Even if there are none of the expected symptoms such as chest pain, especially when doing strenuous activity, that does not mean there is no problem.

“Generally anyone over the age of 40 or 45 years should go for an annual check up that would include an ECG and treadmill test. Artherosclyrosis is when the arteries are clogged up and its not too difficult to clog a main artery that is only three millimeters thick, they are very narrow,” Dr. Silvestri said.

Dr Silvestri delivered a lecture on this subject to more than 150 doctors in Dubai last Wednesday . He highlighted the high degree of efficacy of drug eluting stents especially for unprotected left main stenosis, which is regarded as a serious coronary lesion.

“This is still a controversial position to have but I have in my practice used stents to repair these major blood vessels, trials in France and Korea are encouraging, the results of which will be presented during my lecture.

“In the past few years there has been great improvement in stents technology, which are essentially scaffolding that hold up the artery walls so that the elastic artery does not collapse back on itself. Now we have drug eluting stents which have reduced the occurrence of restenosis (reblockage) significantly,” Dr Silvetsri said, adding that before drug eluting stents were used 20 per cent of stented arteries would get clogged again.

He said that the wide spread use of balloon dilation and angioplasty has reduced the need for heart bypass operations, but stressed that different people have different anatomies and balloon angioplasty and stenting may not suit everyone, which leaves surgery as another treatment option. Dr Silvestri said that anyone suffering from chest pain should go to the cardiologist who would do an ECG and treadmill test and if necessary refer the patient for an angiography of which Dr Silvestri performs 600 each year.

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