Microcirculation is an important part of the cardiovascular system, which is difficult to be accessed by classical diagnostics. In more than 40% of patients who come under the care of a cardiologist with typical symptoms of coronary artery disease (such as chest pain, shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance), the complaints are due to disorders at the microcirculatory level. It includes the network of the smallest vessels of the circulatory system, which plays a key role in the metabolic processes that enable all tissues and organs to function properly. Microcirculatory vessels supply tissues and organs with oxygen and nutrients, remove end products of metabolism, and regulate blood flow and pressure.
Prof. Marcin Hellmann and his team at the Department of Heart Disease Diagnosis, Medical University of Gdańsk, use advanced optical tools to assess blood flow in microcirculation. These studies are applied while monitoring the course of the disease and the response to drug treatment in patients with cardiac complications after COVID-19. The dissemination of these methods will enable a better understanding of the pathophysiology of many diseases, improve early diagnosis and prediction of the progression of cardiovascular diseases, and also contribute to the search for new forms of drug therapy.