Everything You Need to Know About Heart disease


The clinical and laboratory tests you will need to detect your heart disease depend on the underlying condition your physician thinks you might be suffering from. Your physician will likely conduct a physical exam and question about your personal and family history before performing any tests. Besides a chest X-ray and various blood tests, other tests to diagnose cardiac diseases can include:

Electrocardiogram (ECG) – An ECG records electrical signals produced in your heart and can help your physician identify abnormalities in your heart’s structure and rhythm. You may have an electrocardiogram test while you are at rest or running (stress electrocardiogram).

Holter Monitoring – Holter monitoring is done with a portable device that you wear on your chest to continuously record an ECG, usually for 48 to 72 hours. This method is used to identify heart rhythm irregularities that are not detected during a routine ECG exam.

Echocardiogram – This noninvasive test includes an ultrasound of your chest. Echocardiogram shows detailed photographs of your heart’s structure (including heart valves) and function.

Stress Test – This test requires raising your heart rate with medicine or exercise while doing heart tests to monitor how your heart responds.

Cardiac Catheterization – A short tube (sheath) is entered into an artery or vein in your arm or leg (groin). A flexible and elongated tube (guide catheter) is then entered into the sheath. Aided by imaging machinery (such as an X-ray or Ultrasound), your physician passes the guide catheter through that vein or artery until it enters your heart.

This method help measure pressure in your cardiac chambers and dye can be inserted. The dye (a colorful liquid) can be viewed on an X-ray, which helps your physician observe the flow of blood through your cardiac blood vessels, heart chambers, and valves to diagnose abnormalities.

Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan –  This imaging test is often used to diagnose complex heart diseases. In a cardiac computerized tomography, you lie on a table inside an X-ray tube machine that rotates around your body and capture photographs of your chest and heart.

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – This test requires you to lie on a table inside a tube-like machine that generates a magnetic field. The magnetic field creates photographs of your body to help your physician diagnose any underlying heart condition.