Coronary Artery Disease

Overview

All Courses & Exercises

Objectives

Coronary Artery Disease

  • Explain the unique management issues associated with the many clinical presentations of coronary artery disease.
  • Describe the appropriate use of noninvasive and invasive diagnostic testing for the varied clinical presentations of coronary artery disease.
  • Discuss the relevance of the numerous recently published clinical trials in patients presenting with coronary syndromes, including angina, acute coronary syndromes, and acute myocardial infarction.
  • These internet enduring materials are case-based, interactive presentations comprised mainly of text, interactive questions, and images. A variety of media, including video clips, audio clips, and Flash animation, may be presented. Links to any necessary plugins are provided when necessary, but no plugins are required for general use of the CME website, and you may skip the multimedia presentation(s) within the course if you choose.
  • Registrants participate in the learning process by answering interactive multiple choice questions that are dispersed throughout the case presentation. You must answer a question correctly in order to continue through the course. If you answer a question incorrectly, you will be prompted to try again.
  • In order to earn credit, physicians must complete the entire educational activity before the termination date (see above). Non-physicians may register for the course but are not eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Instead, non-physicians will earn a certificate of participation after successfully completing the course before its termination date.

Key Concepts

  • Coronary artery disease, along with its consequences, is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Acute coronary syndromes alone account for nearly 1.5 million hospital admissions each year.
  • The spectrum for the clinical presentation of coronary atherosclerosis is broad. Patients can present prior to an overt manifestation of syndromes with chronic angina, an acute coronary syndrome such as unstable angina, or acute myocardial infarction. Complications of coronary artery disease such as ventricular arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, or chronic angina can be especially challenging to manage.
  • Each presentation of coronary artery disease must be carefully considered. Risk factors, the clinical setting, patient-specific issues, and the extent of disease require specific attention. An acute transmural myocardial infarction with ST elevation, for example, should be treated in the Emergency Room within minutes. Other presentations are best suited to a careful, noninvasive evaluation.
  • While there may be differences in opinion and practice among thoughtful physicians, basic pathophysiologic principles always direct the appropriate clinical approach. A strong understanding of vascular biology and clinical guidelines promotes good patient care.