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A good show discussing MVD.

May 7, 2012

I was looking for some information about the use of intravascular ultrasound and stumbled on the page for an episode of Second Opinion.  It’s a tv show on PBS that discusses various topics in medicine in the form of a panel discussion using an actual patient’s case.  I had never seen or heard of the show, but it has been on for several years.

This episode was about Coronary Microvascular Disease.  As I read the page, I felt validated.  They were describing so much of my experience.  This passage in particular grabbed me:

Coronary microvascular disease is tough to diagnose.  If you are experiencing symptoms that concern you, don’t ignore them.  You need to continue a dialog with your doctor until you’re both satisfied.

If your doctor suspects you are at risk for heart disease, there are a number of traditional diagnostic tests used to look for blockages that affect blood flow in the large coronary arteries (coronary artery disease or CAD).  However, standard tests for CAD, such as electrocardiograms, exercise stress tests, echocardiograms and angiograms don’t always detect coronary microvascular disease (MVD), a disease where the smallest coronary arteries are affected.

It’s easy to get discouraged when test after test comes back “negative.”  Often it seems the doctor doesn’t even share the abnormal part of your test results with you, just says something like, “You have a strong heart.”  This is discussed in the episode and a couple of the panel members actually had this happen to them (both women, interestingly enough).

Watch the video.  It brings up many valuable points.  It doesn’t go really in-depth, but for the time available makes a good start.

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