editore: Springer Verlag
In the past two decades a number of studies have shown that abnormalities in the function and structure of coronary microcirculation can be detected in several cardiovascular diseases. On the basis of the clinical setting in which it occurs, coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) can be classified into four types: CMD in the absence of any other cardiac disease; CMD in myocardial diseases; CMD in obstructive epicardial coronary artery disease; and iatrogenic CMD. In some instances CMD represents an epiphenomenon, whereas in others it represents an important marker of risk or may contribute to the pathogenesis of myocardial ischemia, thus becoming a possible therapeutic target. This book provides an update on coronary physiology and a systematic assessment of microvascular abnormalities in cardiovascular diseases, in the hope that it will assist clinicians in prevention, detection and management of CMD in their everyday activity.