Diffuse cardiosclerosis

Author Ольга Кияница


Heart diseases can proceed more or less favorably. In the event of such complications as diffuse cardiosclerosis prognostic conclusion, as a rule, worsens. This disease must be amenable to medical or surgical effects, thus avoiding heart failure.

Diffuse cardiosclerosis (DC) - often a secondary lesion of the heart muscle, which develops mainly after myocardial infarction. The connective tissue begins to grow at the site of the lesion, which can later lead to even more severe complications.

The term “cardiosclerosis” comes from two Greek words: “kardia” - heart and “sklerosis” - seal.

The progression of diffuse cardiosclerosis is dangerous because gradual replacement of heart cells (cardiomyocytes) with connective tissue occurs. As a result, the patient may feel well at the beginning of the development of the disease, and after a while the state of health becomes worse and worse.

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Description of diffuse cardiosclerosis

electrical impulses at the right moment are reduced. In general, the wave-like movement of the heart allows blood to be pumped throughout the body.

The development of diffuse cardiosclerosis leads to the fact that a part of cardiomyocytes, most often damaged by a previous myocardial infarction, begin to be replaced by connective tissue. Pathological changes occur diffusely, that is, absently or evenly throughout the entire affected area.

Extensive spread of sclerotic tissue in severe cases leads to disability or death of the patient. Slow down the pathological process can be timely diagnosis and treatment.

The main features of diffuse cardiosclerosis:

  • Myocardium dies off gradually.
  • The heart muscle is scarring relatively evenly.
  • DK most often occurs in chronic disruption of the blood supply to the tissues.

The intensity of the pathological process has a key effect on the severity of clinical manifestations. The more extensive the affected area, the more acute the symptoms and signs will be. Both the physiological examination of the patient by the doctor and additional diagnostic methods helps in establishing an accurate diagnosis.

Diffuse cardiosclerosis: ICD

The International Classification of Diseases collected various nosological forms of diseases, which are combined into group or generic concepts. Cardiosclerosis belongs to class IX, that is, diseases of the circulatory system. For greater clarification, codes 120-125 , assigned to coronary heart disease and its various forms of manifestation, are used. For example, myocardial infarction and angina are included with cardiosclerosis.

It is worth pointing out that the term ICD-10 uses a term such as “atherosclerotic heart disease”. Among doctors and patients, such definitions as “diffuse cardiosclerosis”, “diffuse small focal cardiosclerosis”, “post-infarction or atherosclerotic cardiosclerosis” are more often mentioned . Similar names are considered domestic analogues, but for encryption are used synonyms from the ICD-10.

Diffuse cardiosclerosis: causes

Cardiosclerosis is not without reason defined in ICD-10 as “atherosclerotic heart disease”. This is due to the fact that in the pathogenesis of the disease lies the formation of atherosclerotic plaque in the blood vessels of the heart. This leads to their complete or partial blockage, resulting in ischemia, and with prolonged oxygen-free state of the myocardium - tissue necrosis.

Cardiomyocytes, deprived of oxygen, most often die and here in their place, to connect the remaining sections of the myocardium, the connective tissue begins to grow, which mainly consists of collagen fibers. Thus, the main causes of cardiosclerosis:

  1. Atherosclerosis of the heart vessels.
  2. Coronary heart disease.

In addition, factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight, advanced age, and heart injuries can play a role in the development of the disease. In some cases, DC becomes a complication of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart rhythm disturbance, myocarditis, rheumatism.

Signs of diffuse cardiosclerosis

The disease can not manifest itself for a long time, whereas in other cases, there are signs of a disturbance in the heart activity immediately. Sometimes patients complain of various discomfort after physical exertion, whereas with the progression of DC, signs are determined even in a calm state.

Direct symptoms indicating impaired cardiac activity:

  • Pain behind the sternum or in the region of the heart - most often felt immediately after work or emotional stress.May be accompanied by a feeling of rhythm disturbance, palpitations, or severe weakness.
  • Swelling of the legs and other parts of the body - heart disease is characterized by the appearance of edema in the late afternoon, whereas in the morning they pass. Also, puffiness can first be observed only on the ankles, and as the disease progresses, it “rises up”, that is, is determined on the shins and even the thighs.
  • Cough - with heart disease is also called heart cough, because it is caused by a violation of the contractile function of the left ventricle. The symptom most often appears in the prone position or during physical activity, while at first it is dry, and with the development of cardiac asthma pinkish foam is released.
  • Loss of consciousness - the blood supply to the brain is disturbed during long-term or severe cardiac dysfunction, and against this background, the patient may lose consciousness.

Additionally, a patient with diffuse cardiosclerosis may complain of heaviness or pain in the right hypochondrium, weakness in muscles, and loss of working capacity. These symptoms point to serious violations of hemodynamics, so you should not hesitate to seek medical help.

Diagnosis of diffuse cardiosclerosis

A patient with suspicion of DC is first examined by a cardiologist , which makes it possible to identify a cardiac rhythm disorder, an increase or decrease in blood pressure, a change in the boundaries of the heart or heart sounds. In some cases, you can immediately make a diagnosis of heart failure or cardiac asthma, since the patient is in a characteristic orthopnea position (legs off the bed, body tilted forward, the air is inhaled by mouth).

Additional research methods used for diagnosis of diffuse cardiosclerosis:

  • Electrocardiography.
  • Echocardiography.
  • Radiography of the chest cavity.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging of the heart.

The research results provide grounds for the appointment of complex treatment of diffuse cardiosclerosis.

Diffuse cardiosclerosis: treatment

With the help of various methods of exposure, most often with the use of medicines, the following goals of the treatment of DC are achieved:

  • Improvement of myocardial blood supply, which reduces the amount of scar formed at the site of the death of cardiomyocytes.
  • Reducing the severity of symptoms of heart failure or cardiac asthma.
  • Reducing the likelihood of serious complications.

With mild symptoms of DC, the patient can be treated on an outpatient basis. If strong manifestations are observed, then the person is necessarily hospitalized and, if necessary, intravenous administration of cardiotonic drugs is carried out.Additionally, with the consent of the doctor, the patient can take drugs from the group of nitrates, beta-blockers or calcium antagonists. Statins are used to normalize cholesterol concentrations in the blood.

General recommendations applicable to all cardiovascular diseases are given to all patients with diffuse cardiosclerosis.In particular, lifestyles and food should be adjusted, if they have bad habits, they should be discarded.

In extreme cases, surgery is performed. Depending on the evidence, stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery may be performed. This allows you to improve the blood supply to the myocardium. If the heart rhythm is often irregular or there is a threat of a sudden installation, then a pacemaker may be recommended.


Diffuse cardiosclerosis is a complicated disease that can lead a patient to a quick death. If it was not possible to prevent the disease, then you should promptly consult a doctor and undergo appropriate treatment. Since cardiosclerosis is considered an irreversible disease, after the onset of remission, you will need to follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life and, if necessary, take medications prescribed by a cardiologist.

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