Symptoms of small vessel disease include shortness of breath, chest pain in conjunction with jaw pain or pain in the left arm, and abdominal or upper back pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Prolonged symptoms may lead to heart attack or heart failure, claims the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Small vessel disease, also called coronary microvascular disease, occurs when small arteries in the heart become narrow, resulting in limited oxygen to the heart, reports the AAFP. The causes of small vessel disease include high blood pressure, obesity, tobacco use, high cholesterol and diabetes, states the Mayo Clinic. More likely to occur in women than in men, this disease may cause coronary artery spasm or sudden death.
Medical tests for small vessel disease include positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, stress tests and coronary angiogram, states the Mayo Clinic. Surgery for small vessel disease is not possible because the arteries are too small, claims the AAFP. Treatment options include prescription medications and regular physician visits to monitor the arteries. Prescription medications include nitroglycerin, beta blockers, statins and calcium channel blockers, reports Mayo Clinic.
Additional treatment options include dietary supplements such as L-arginine and Coenzyme Q10, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure help reduce the occurrence of small vessel disease.