Research Paper: Healthy Heart vs. Coronary Disease Human Pathology

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Healthy Heart vs. Coronary Disease

Human pathology typically has associated abnormal physiological conditions. Further understanding the physiological differences between healthy and diseased hearts is critical for diagnosis, treatment and future research. Coronary artery disease, according to Shirato and Swan, is the leading cause of death in women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. This paper will discuss the normal physiology of a healthy heart and then compare it to a heart suffering from coronary artery disease. These physiological differences will be connected to the normal anatomy of a healthy heart and the pathological condition of coronary disease.

Physiological Condition of a Healthy Heart:

In a healthy heart, the coronary blood flow provides the oxygen supply for the body. This myocardial oxygen automatically increases, in a healthy heart, from a resting level to a maximum level. This difference between the resting flow and maximal coronary flow is known as coronary flow reserve (CFR). This increased demand can result from exercise, neurohormones, or pharmacological stimuli. According to Kera et al., there are three primary resistance components to blood flow. These include: the epicardial vessel, small arterioles and arteries and the intramyocardial capillary system. In a healthy heart, there is only minimal resistance in the epicardial vessel and arteries that have a diameter of >400µm. Coronary resistance occurs, in a healthy heart, in the small arteries and arterioles.

Physiological Condition of Coronary Disease:

Kera et al. note that one of the primary physiological conditions of coronary disease is a change in coronary flow and pressure. This imbalance between the supply and demand of myocardial oxygen can lead to myocardial ischemia. Plaque build up inside the arteries, narrows the arteries, restricting oxygenated blood flow to the heart. This increased pressure within the arteries is present at any flow rate; however, it is most significant during times of increased need for myocardial oxygen.

Connection Between Normal Anatomy of a Healthy Heart and Coronary Disease:

In a normal, healthy heart oxygenated… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Healthy Heart vs. Coronary Disease Human Pathology.  (2010, November 16).  Retrieved August 22, 2019, from

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"Healthy Heart vs. Coronary Disease Human Pathology."  16 November 2010.  Web.  22 August 2019. <>.

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"Healthy Heart vs. Coronary Disease Human Pathology."  November 16, 2010.  Accessed August 22, 2019.