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Tests to Determine Heart Disease

stress-test-cardiac-rehab-treadmill

Image is from Harvard Health Publications-Harvard University

All of your body’s vital organs are essential to your living a quality life. However, it is your heart that you must consider as your body’s engine. You must take care of your heart if you desire to live a long life full of quality and vitality.

If you have any signs and symptoms that something may be amiss with your heart, you are wise to get to your doctor as soon as possible, so the physician checks your heart. Your doctor may order some tests, specifically geared to the health of this vital organ.

Your doctor puts his knowledge and skill at work to determine what he or she thinks is the problem with your heart, or if there is any problem by ordering tests for you can take according to his best possible diagnosis.

There are many different tests the doctor can order for you such as blood tests and a variety of X-rays depending on his findings. The following are some tests done to determine heart disease.

Thanks to the advancements in medical technology in testing for heart disease, many heart problems are recognized before they cause irreversible problems. These heart tests enable the doctor to begin treatment that can reverse or manage your heart condition for years to come, allowing you to live your life as normally and comfortable as possible.

Holter Monitoring

The technician gives you what looks like a small box with straps that is attached to you and taken home. You wear the long strap across your body, and the box hangs loose. This monitor records any irregularities in your heart pattern that are otherwise not recorded in other tests like an Electrocardiogram. You wear this monitor for one to three days.

Electrocardiogram at Rest
Electrocardiogram During Activity

This test records your heart’s electrical pattern, thus recording any irregularities in the pattern of your heart.

Chemical Stress Test

The technician attaches electrodes to various parts of your arms, legs, and chest. The technician performs an IV and injects a chemical that causes your heart to pump gradually faster until your heart reaches a pulse rate of 150-170 beats per minute. This test is useful for people who cannot tolerate running on a treadmill.

Stress Test on a Treadmill

Electrodes are attached to your chest, arms, and legs, and you walk, gradually run on a treadmill until your heart rate reaches the required rate of 150-170 beats per minute.

Echocardiogram

While in a laying position the technician gently runs a smooth device over the area of your heart to record images of great detail of the structure and function of your heart.

Catheterization of the Heart

Under local anesthesia, the doctor runs a thin hair tube into the main artery located in the groin. The tube is inserted into a sheath and threaded through the artery until it reaches your heart. This tube examines all the chambers of your heart and measures the pressure in your heart. The doctor frequently injects a dye through the tube that lights up all your blood vessels, valves, chambers and heart to visualize any abnormal areas.

Cardiac Computerized Tomography or CAT scan

The technician has you lay on a table that slides inside of an open circle. The beams from this scanner rotate around your body, taking images of your heart and chest.

MRI or Cardiac Magnetic Resonance

You lie on a table inside of a long enclosed machine. The machine has magnets that take pictures of your heart. As you lie in this machine, you find it very noisy as due to the clicking of the magnets.

 

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