Angina is usually associated with narrowings in the heart’s major blood vessels, the coronary arteries. However, about 40% of patients having coronary angiogram procedures to study their heart arteries have little or no visible disease. Despite having no obstructions in the main vessels, a third continue to suffer from angina.
Research has shown that some patients with no obvious disease may instead have disorders of their small heart vessels (microvasculature) not visible on angiogram. This is known as Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction or CMD.
CMD is not yet fully understood, and research still needs to be done into diagnosing CMD and treating patients more effectively. Therefore, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Cardiovascular Partnership have developed a workstream to pool expertise, collaborate on new research and improve patient care by standardising procedures in hospitals.
For more information on microvascular angina visit BHF Heart Matters.