The term Cardiology comes from the Greek words “cardia” which refers to the heart and “logy” meaning “study of,” Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart such as congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure and valvular heart disease.
English physician William Harvey laid the foundation for cardiology after publishing his observations on the anatomy and physiology of the heart and circulation. From that period, this branch grew steadily as physicians relied on scientific observation, turning away the prejudices and superstitions of previous eras, and conducted fastidious and keen studies of the physiology, anatomy, and pathology of the nerve and blood vessels.
In the 20th century, cardiology got a very large leap forward after inventing the diagnostic tools. Electrocardiography, which measures the electrical activity in the heart, was invented by Duth physiologist William Einthoven. German physicist Wilhem Conard Rontgen invented X-rays that helped the physicians in radiological evolution of the heart. German surgeon Werner Forssmann is credited with the invention of cardiac catheterization in 1929.
Heart disease and cardiovascular disease are not the same; the latter refers to disorders and illness of the heart and blood vessels, while the former is only concerned with the heart. A doctor who is specialized in cardiology is called a cardiologist, whereas a surgeon who is specialized in cardiac surgery is called cardiac surgeons.
Development of cardiology over the years has introduced several modern treatment options for heart patients. Several drugs have been developed by the pharmaceutical industry to diagnose and treat heart failure, angina pectoris, coronary heart disease, hypertension, arrhythmia and infections such as endocarditis. With the advances in cardiac catheterization and angiography, surgeons developed techniques for allowing the bold circulation to bypass the heart through heart-lung machines, thereby permitting surgical correction of all manner of acquired and congenital heart diseases.
The latest advances in cardiology comprise electrocardiographic monitors, pacemakers and defibrillators for detecting and treating arrhythmias, radio-frequency ablation of certain ablation rhythms, and balloon angioplasty and other nonsurgical treatments of blood vessel obstruction. New discoveries in genetics and molecular biology will help cardiologists in their understanding of cardiovascular disease.
There are several branches of cardiology and each of them focuses on a different aspect of treating heart.
Interventional cardiology-It is a section which involves the use of catheter based techniques with fluoroscopy to treat congenital cardiac and coronary artery diseases. These cardiologists perform angioplasties, valvuplasties and correct congenital heart defect.
Echocardiography-It uses sound waves to create moving pictures of your heart. The picture shows the size and shape of your heart. Physician can also analyze functioning of heart’s chamber and valves from this test. Echo can also spot areas of heart muscle that aren’t contracting well because of poor blood flow or an injury from previous heart attack.
Cardiac electrophysiology- involves the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders. In this method physician will safely reproduce your abnormal heart rhythm and may give you different medicines to check to see which controls it best or to determine the best procedure to treat your heart rhythm.
Cardiac electrophysiology- involves the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders.