doctor and patient

Coronary Artery Disease Care

Coronary arteries bring oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the narrowing of these arteries, which can cause tissue damage to areas of the heart. 

At UVA, you’ll have a team of experienced and dedicated doctors, surgeons, nurses and more — all working to ensure you have the most innovative and effective treatment options available for:

A Team Approach to CAD Care

Patients with some of the most complicated forms of CAD need advanced treatment. View transcript.

What Causes CAD?

CAD begins with damage or injury to the inner layer of a coronary artery. Various factors cause the damage, including:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes or insulin resistence
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Aging

You're also more likely to get CAD if you're inactive, male or have:

  • A family history
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High stress

After the coronary artery becomes damaged, fatty deposits (plaque) made of cholesterol and other cellular waste products tend to accumulate at the site of the damage in a process called atherosclerosis.

If the surface of the plaque breaks or ruptures, blood cells called platelets will clump at the site to try to repair the artery. This clump can block the artery, leading to a heart attack.

Diagnosis at UVA

Chest pain, also called angina, is the most common symptom. Angina may be described as a burning, squeezing or tightness in your chest, neck or upper arm and is caused by inadequate blood supply to your heart. If it’s not treated, it may lead to a heart attack. 

We diagnose you using:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Blood work
  • Stress test
  • Cardiac catheterization 
  • Cardiac CT or MRI

Treating CAD 

At UVA, we offer advanced interventional and surgical treatments, including: