Guide to Cardiology

We often consider the heart as one of the most vital parts of our body. It is a muscular organ that is responsible for pumping blood through the blood vessels in the circulatory system. It serves as a life source for humans and other animals, and without it, our body won’t receive the required oxygen and nutrients to function.

In our pop culture, the heart signifies love, as well as other things. In a scientific point of view, our heart plays a crucial role in keeping us alive. That is why scientists over the years took efforts in studying and observing the complex design of heart – including its parts, functions, anatomical features, and physiological features.

Moreover, our heart is vulnerable to various diseases and medical conditions, which could lead to health risks and even death. Cardiovascular disease is a type of disease, which involves the heart or blood vessels. It is the leading cause of death around the globe based on the World Health Organization, with records showing roughly 17.9 million deaths annually. This record is also equal to thirty-one percent of all deaths around the world, in which eighty-five percent of it is due to heart attacks and strokes.

With all of these numbers shown, we can say that the human heart is more complicated than it seems. Specific health measures are required to keep our hearts healthy and active. That is why scientists devote to the study of the various disorders related to the heart in a branch of medicine called cardiology.

What is Cardiology?

As mentioned earlier, cardiology is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of the heart, its disorders, as well as the circulatory system. This field of science covers a much broader scope of topics regarding the heart, which includes medical diagnosis and treatment of various cardiovascular diseases.

The word cardiology came from the Greek word ‘cardia’ and ‘logia,’ which means ‘heart’ and ‘study’ respectively. This branch of medicine focuses on the study of the heart and its disorders. However, different principles apply when it comes to studying the heart of an adult and child. A physician who specializes in this branch of medicine is called a cardiologist, while those who study a child’s heart are called pediatric cardiologists. Despite their differences, they still have a lot in common, considering both of these branches of medicine focuses on the study of the heart.

Interestingly, cardiology also has a wide range of studies categorized under it.  These fields of study specialize in more specific topics related to the heart and the circulatory system.

  • Cardiac electrophysiology –is a branch of cardiology devoted to the study of the electrical properties and conduction diseases of the heart.
  • Cardiogeriatrics–is also known as geriatric cardiology, which is a field of study related to cardiology and geriatric medicine that deals with the cardiovascular disorder in older people.
  • Echocardiography –is a branch of cardiology that uses ultrasound to study the mechanical function of the heart.
  • Interventional cardiology –is the branch of cardiology that uses catheters for the treatment of structural and ischemic diseases of the heart.
  • Nuclear cardiography–from the name itself, it is a field of cardiography that uses nuclear medicine to visualize the uptake of an isotope by the heart with the use of radioactive sources.
  • Pediatric cardiology – as mentioned earlier, it is a branch of cardiology that specializes in diagnosing and treating heart problems in children.

List of Notable Cardiologists

Like any other field of science, cardiologist also has its list of notable scientists, which made a remarkable impact in its development. Here are some of the most known cardiologists in history:

  • Robert Atkins – popularized by his development of the Atkins diet.
  • Eugene Braunwald – is the editor of various medical publications, including “Braunwald’s Heart Disease.”
  • Wallace Bridgen–was a British cardiologist who pioneered several treatments for heart disease and also identified cardiomyopathy.
  • Willem Einthoven –was a physiologist known for building the first practical ECG and won a Nobel Prize in 1924.
  • Andreas Gruentzig – was the first person to develop balloon angioplasty.
  • Bernard Lown–was known as the original developer of the defibrillator.
  • Hellen B. Tausig –was an American cardiologist and the founder of pediatric cardiology. She was also known for her extensive work on the blue baby syndrome.