Heart disease is the number one cause of death in western ries in spite of the advances that have been made in recent years in the knowledge and control of cardiovascular risk factors. For this reason, an early and accurate diagnosis is essential for an adequate treatment.
The Hospital Universitario La Moraleja offers a comprehensive Cardiology department to meet, in light of modern knowledge and with a high degree of specialism, the demands of the population. Additionally, it has all the technological means to ensure the coverage, both diagnostic and therapeutic, of the different cardiological processes.
As well as care for outpatients in the External Consultations Area and the continued care for inpatients in the Inpatients Area, the Cardiology department supports other departments of the hospital both from a clinical viewpoint and with the completion of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures specific to the specialist area.
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This is currently the method of choice for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with arterial hypertension, also permitting optimum adjustment of the pharmacological treatment. It is a non-invasive method performed as a day hospital procedure.
Monitors, continuously over 24 hours, the electrical activity of the heart. It is very useful in the study of arrhythmias (tachycardias and bradycardias) in patients with and without palpitations.
This test makes it possible to study the morphology and of the different cardiac structures (chambers, global and segmental contractility, heart valves, pericardium, etc.). In additional to the conventional or transthoracic echocardiogram, the Universitario Sanitas La Moraleja offers the option of a transoesophageal echocardiogram, a procedure which consists in introducing a probe through the oesophagus and which is very useful in the study of some heart and aorta conditions.
There are two types of tests available at the hospital according to the needs of each patient: conventional cardiac stress test and cardiac stress test with isotopes. In the conventional cardiac stress test, the patient walks on a treadmill until exerting maximum effort.
At all times the patient's arterial tension and heart rate are monitored electrocardiographically. In special circumstances, it is necessary to inject a radioactive isotope performing an image study with multiples of effort.
The cardiac stress test with isotopes is conducted in collaboration with the hospital's Nuclear Medicine department. Both tests are currently short heart tests (SPECT) which provide additional information to that obtained from the cornerstone test of the non-invasive study of ischemic cardiopathy, enabling the early detection of this disease, its assessment when present and the provision of information on the al class of the patient, etc.
This invasive procedure provides information on multiple haemodynamic parameters in patients with valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, etc., invaluable when making therapy decisions. Additionally, it makes it possible directly to treat conditions such as mitral stenosis by means of a valvuloplasty or percutaneous closure of the atrial defect, avoiding, in both cases, the patient having to undergo surgery.
The coronariography is today the gold standard in the study of the coronary arteries. It makes it possible to assess the anatomy, the existence of obstructions and to treat them by the fitting of endo-vascular prosthesis (stents). Furthermore, it is the treatment of choice in acute myocardial infarction by means of primary angioplasty, a procedure carried out at the time of the infarction and which consists in opening the artery responsible.
The Cardiology department at the Hospital Universitario La Moraleja boasts two heart surgeons specialising in the fitting of pacemakers and defibrillators. The subsequent monitoring thereof is performed by the department's cardiologists.
This technique is very useful for re-establishing the normal rhythm of the heart in some types of arrhythmias. It consists in administering an electric shock under sedation and is performed as a day hospital procedure. This procedure is performed tly with the professional from the Intensive Care Unit at the centre.
In collaboration with the Radiology department, both of these techniques are being implemented. The former provides very valuable information on cardiac morphology, the of both ventricles and, in cases of ischemic cardiopathy, the viability of the different zones of the heart. The multi-slice CT has recently emerged as a useful technique in the non-invasive study of the coronary arteries, and is valuable in ruling out significant coronary heart disease.
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