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Microvascular Ischemic Disease - Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Published on Nov 05, 2019 and last reviewed on Jul 11, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Microvascular ischemic diseases are a group of diseases that affect the small blood vessels in the body. This article discuses its types, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Contents
Microvascular Ischemic Disease - Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

What Is Microvascular Ischemic Disease?

The group of diseases that result from changes to the small blood vessels in the brain is known as microvascular ischemic disease or small vessel ischemic disease or cerebral small vessel disease. If it affects the small blood vessels of the heart, it is called coronary microvascular disease.

Such changes can damage the white matter of the brain, which contains nerve fibers that connects other parts of the brain. This condition is common in older adults, and if left untreated, it can lead to memory problems, balance problems, and stroke.

In the heart, this disease damages the walls of the small arteries, which results in signs and symptoms of heart disease like chest pain, dyspnea, etc.

The blood flow in the small blood vessels of other organs like kidneys, eyes, etc., can also get blocked and can lead to microvascular ischemic disease.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Microvascular Ischemic Disease?

MVI

Milder forms of this disease do not produce any signs or symptoms, even if they damage a small part of the heart or brain. This is the reason it is called “silent” disease. In severe cases, the following signs and symptoms are seen:

Brain:

Heart:

Get immediate medical help if you notice these symptoms, as it is a medical emergency.

What Causes Microvascular Ischemia?

MV2

The cause of microvascular ischemic disease is believed to be the result of atherosclerosis, which is caused by plaque buildup and hardening that damages the blood vessels. This narrowing of blood vessels can result in stroke and heart attacks.

This damage to the blood vessel can block blood flow and deprive the brain or heart cells of oxygen, or the blood vessels can break and bleed.

What Are the Risk Factors for Microvascular Ischemic Disease?

The factors that increase the risk of microvascular ischemic disease are:

What Are the Complications of Microvascular Ischemic Disease?

If left untreated, and if the blood flow is blocked or the blood vessel ruptures, severe complications can result. The common complications include:

Brain:

Heart:

How Is Microvascular Disease Diagnosed?

If you have symptoms that point towards microvascular ischemic disease, then your doctor will suggest you get the following tests:

Brain:

Heart:

How Is Microvascular Ischemic Disease Treated?

Treatment is done to manage the risk factors that contribute to this condition. It includes:

The medications used are:

What Are the Ways to Prevent Microvascular Ischemic Disease?

Some tips to prevent this condition are:

Microvascular ischemic disease can lead to stroke, heart attack, dementia, and even death. It does not cause any symptoms in the early stages, so the best way to prevent these complications is by preventing damage to small blood vessels. Follow the above preventive measures, which will not only prevent this disease but most of the chronic and life-threatening diseases. For more information on this condition, consult a doctor online.

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Last reviewed at:
11 Jul 2022  -  4 min read

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