• Kyodo


Empress Michiko, who has been diagnosed with heart trouble, will attend the national memorial service for the war dead this weekend together with Emperor Akihito as scheduled, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.

The 80-year-old Empress was diagnosed Sunday with myocardial ischemia at a Tokyo hospital after complaining of chest pains in recent months.

She underwent a coronary computed tomography scan at University of Tokyo Hospital and was found to be suffering from insufficient blood flow to some parts of the heart muscle via the coronary arteries, the agency said.

The scan showed narrowing of two of the three coronary arteries, but this was not related to her chest pain, officials said. No surgery is needed for the moment, although she may be given medication if her symptoms worsen.

Aside from attending Saturday’s event on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II to commemorate those who died in the war, the Empress is scheduled to attend various events this week, including a meeting with a foreign ambassador, a concert and a visit to a museum, the agency said.

The Empress has been experiencing chest pain since late June. She initially experienced pain several times a week but more recently has been feeling discomfort several times a day, the agency said.

Last month an electrocardiogram showed evidence of possible heart disease, prompting the agency to arrange for her to undergo a more detailed exam.

Myocardial ischemia can represent the temporary obstruction of a blood vessel brought on by stress or advancing age. It can also be evidence of more serious heart disease.

The Emperor showed similar symptoms in 2011. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 2012 after being diagnosed with angina.

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