Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of disease burden and death in Australia. 1 It is caused by blockages of the coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle, or myocardium. In most cases, this is a result of atherosclerosis, a pathological process that results in a buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other material within the arteries. Risk factors for coronary artery disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of coronary artery disease, and ageing.
Patients who have coronary artery disease may experience chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, weakness, and discomfort of the arm or jaw, particularly during strenuous exercise. For some patients, they may not experience any symptoms at all.
The treatment of coronary artery disease depends on the severity and location of the plaques, and the co-morbidities of the patient. Associate Professor Christopher Cao works with a number of experienced Cardiologists in Sydney and regional NSW to offer patients medications in conjunction with stents and/or surgery to achieve optimal outcomes.
Associate Professor Cao has a specialized interest in the use of arterial conduits during coronary artery bypass graft surgery to achieve longer lasting grafts. He was the first author in a number of publications in leading international journals advocating for the use of arterial conduits and surgery for patients with severe coronary artery disease. 2-4