Definition: Small vessel disease is a condition in which the small arteries in the heart become narrowed. Small vessel disease causes signs and symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain (angina). Small vessel disease is sometimes called coronary microvascular disease or small vessel heart disease. It's usually diagnosed after a doctor checks for blockages in the main arteries of the heart but finds little or no narrowing in the large vessels, even though your symptoms persist.
Symptoms: Chest pain, squeezing or discomfort, Chest pain associated with discomfort in your left arm or jaw, Chest pain that worsens with daily activities and at times of emotional stress, Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort, Shortness of breath, Unusual fatigue, A loss of energy, Trouble sleeping.
Statistics: Presence of carotid plaque and increasing carotid lumen diameter (but not common carotid artery intima-media thickness) were associated with higher prevalence of lacunar infarcts: odds ratio (OR) = 1.60 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09–2.35), p = 0.02 and OR = 1.24 (95% CI: 1.02–1.50), p = 0.03 (by SD increase). Carotid plaque was also associated with large white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) (age-specific top quartile of WMHV distribution): OR = 1.32 (95% CI: 1.04–1.67), p = 0.02, independently of vascular risk factors.