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30% blockage lat year, gone this year
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30% blockage lat year, gone this year


  My father had a heart cath last year and they found a 30% blockage in what my
  mother called a "minor" vessal. At the time of his cath he had high bloodpressure
  . This year he had a cath and they didn't find anything and his blood pressure
  is normal and has been normal for a few months without medication. My question
  Could a blockage take care of itself without causing a stroke?  I thought I read once
  that your body could work another route to bypass the blockage. My mom is convinced that
  they (the Dr.'s) were wrong the first time. Thank you for your time./
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Dear Jamie,
Firstly, a blockage in the coronary heart vessel will lead to a heart attack,
not a stroke (this is when there is a blockage in the vessels feeding blood to the brain.)
Now that the terminology is clear, it is unlikely that a 30%blockage in one of
the coronaries or anywhere in the body went completely away, it is more likely that
the "unimportant" coronary artery disease that was seen on the first cath was overcalled.
Any coronary artery blockage less than 70% is considered insignificant, and the
only thing to do for the patient with one or more such insignificant blockages is
to treat medically (aggressively manage risk factors-like treat high blood pressure,
diabetes, and high cholesterol if they exist; as well smoking cessation should be greatly
recommended as should the commencement of a daily aerobic exercise program.)
Any person with insignificant blockages has "mild coronary artery disease",
and is usually prescribed medical therapy as described above, as well he/she is usually
followed with yearly stress tests (if the stress test is abnormal or if the patient describes
new symptoms, then another cath is performed.)
This is what you need to know, are the coronary arteries clean or is there some mild disease?
Also note that many cath cardiologists will disagree on lesions less than 50%, one might
call it 30%,another might say 10%, and in a side branch or small vessel this is a really hard call
for the human eye to make.  Ultimately it doesn't matter if it is 10 or 20% as I stated above.
Good Luck.
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general medical informational purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnosis and therapies.  
Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your problem.






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