What is Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD)?
ASCVD, also referred to as atherosclerosis, results from a specific type of plaque (i.e., atheroma) building up on the arterial walls. As this plaque thickens, it causes the artery to become narrow, which negatively affects blood flow. In addition, this plaque buildup on the arterial walls causes the arteries to harden.
Seeking treatment is vital as ASCVD can lead to a stroke, a heart attack and peripheral vascular disease (PVD). An individual diagnosed with cardiovascular disease has both atherosclerosis and PVD.
How is ASCVD Diagnosed and Treated?
Initially, a physician reviews the patient’s medical history and performs a physical exam; the doctor may also order diagnostic tests.
Potential diagnostic tests include:
- A Doppler sonography to evaluate blood flow
- Cardiac catheterization to locate areas with narrow arteries or blockages
- A CT scan (computerized tomography or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to determine if the patient has coronary calcification
- Blood work to check glucose and cholesterol levels.
- An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) to record the electrical activity of the heart.
When a patient has signs indicating that he or she may have clinical ASCVD, the physician usually recommends that the patient make an appointment with a vascular specialist or a cardiologist. The results of the patient’s tests determine which specialist the doctor recommends.
Treatment Options for ASCVD
Treatment options include positive lifestyle changes such as eating healthier and exercising, surgical procedures (e.g., placement of a coronary artery stent) and oral medications designed to reduce cholesterol, as well as subcutaneous injections of prescription medications (e.g., Leqvio).
How Do Leqvio Injections for ASCVD Work?
Leqvio is the first and only synthetic small interfering RNA (siRNA) that binds the messenger RNA PCSK9 to prevent the protein’s translation. This binding results in lower concentrations of PCSK9, as well as in the plasma concentrations of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol). LDL is bad cholesterol because it accumulates in the arteries.
Leqvio’s ability to lower circulating plasma LDL-C levels provides patients with an additional benefit, a decrease in the patient’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Moreover, since hypercholesterolemia is one of the major risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular outcomes improve.
ASCVD Therapies Administered at IVX Health
ASCVD Management at IVX Health
At IVX Health, patients receive their subcutaneous injection treatment for ASCVD while relaxing in comfortable, leather recliners in private suites. IVX accommodates space for guests, along with high-speed WiFi and large, flat-screen TVs. At IVX, patients never wait as they are greeted by name and escorted to their private suite immediately. Eliminating waiting makes appointments faster and more efficient.
The benefits of receiving ASCVD injections at IVX Health include:
- Conveniently located centers
- Flexible scheduling that includes weekend and evening appointments
- Personalized, high-quality, world-class care provided by Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) and Registered Nurses (RNs)
What to Expect During an Injection for ASCVD
Although procedures can vary, the subcutaneous injection treatment for clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease should be similar to the procedure below.
Upon arrival, the patient may need to complete registration paperwork. An IVX staff member will then escort the individual to one of IVX Health’s treatment rooms. Shortly thereafter, an IVX medical professional reviews the patient’s paperwork and asks questions about the patient’s medical history.
The nurse then administers the patient’s Leqvio injection. This injection is placed subcutaneously. ASCVD patients receive subcutaneous injections of Leqvio every six months.
Signs that indicate the patient is experiencing a negative reaction to the medication include breathing difficulties, nausea, the development of a rash and a headache. If any of these symptoms arise, the patient needs to seek medical treatment right away.
How to Get a Referral for ASCVD Treatment at IVX Health
Each referral for ASCVD treatment must include the information listed below.
- Patient name
- Patient phone number
- Insurance information (primary and secondary if applicable)
- The results of the patient’s lab tests
- Clinical information to support the patient’s ASCVD diagnosis
- The results of the patient’s recent tuberculosis (TB) skin test
A physician’s order that includes:
- Provider name
- Provider signature (or electronically authenticated signature)
- NOTE: IVX Health centers are happy to help patients with the referral process
Everyone’s time is valuable, which is why IVX Health offers its patients convenient locations with flexible scheduling options and prompt treatment. To learn more about treatment options at IVX Health, contact us today.