About Coronary Artery Disease Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a heart disease that causes an inadequate supply of blood to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease is also referred to as coronary heart disease (CHD).


Coronary artery disease is caused by a buildup of fatty, waxy deposits on the inside of your arteries. These deposits are made up of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood. This buildup is called "atherosclerotic plaque" or simply "plaque." Plaque deposits can clog the coronary arteries and make them stiff and irregular. This is called "hardening of the arteries." There can be a single blockage or multiple blockages, and they can vary in severity and location. These deposits may slowly narrow the coronary arteries,  which may cause the  heart to receive less blood and oxygen.


Because coronary artery disease (clogged arteries) can develop over many years, symptoms are often not felt until blockages are severe.

Talk to your doctor if you think you have symptoms of coronary artery disease. If you think you might be having a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention.


If your doctor suspects you have coronary artery disease, he or she may run  some tests or may refer you to a cardiologist that specialises in problems of the heart, arteries and veins.

When making a diagnosis, your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history and risk factors. Based on this information, your doctor may give you tests to see how healthy your arteries are. Tests may include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO)
  • Stress test
  • Nuclear heart scan/nuclear stress test
  • Electron beam computerized tomography (EBCT)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
  • Angiography
  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)
  • X-ray
  • Blood tests
  • CT Angiography