A healthy heart beats more than 10,000 times per day, making it one of the human body’s hardest working muscle. It is essential to take preventative care of the heart, to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Many people are at risk for heart disease but are unaware of it. Fortunately, there are simple tests that can identify individuals at risk of heart diseases, allowing them to take preventative measures to lower their risk and receive immediate medical care.
Individuals are more prone to heart attacks and strokes due to excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, high cholesterol levels or a family history of the condition. To accurately detect the symptoms of a heart attack, cardiologists use advanced imaging and blood tests methods that are very accurate in detecting the risk of a heart attack.
If you feel any of the symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness, doctor might recommend one or more of these heart related tests mentioned below:
ECG is the first test to be performed to diagnose a heart attack or irregular heartbeats. It is a quick and painless procedure that records the electrical signals in the heart. Sticky notes and wire leads are applied on the chest and sometimes the arms and legs. The leads are fixed to an ECG machine, which records and prints out the electrical impulses on paper. The test is used by the practitioner to detect a heart attack or irregular heartbeats.
Echocardiogram is a go to test in OPD to detect most structural abnormalities in heart, starting from chamber enlargement, valve diseases, previous heart attack related damage, pulmonary hypertension and Cardiomyopathy among other rare diseases.
It’s an easy test done using ultrasound machine with a special Echocardiography probe. This test is painless.
Exercise Stress Test
An ECG examination known as a stress test, also referred to as a treadmill or exercise test, is carried out while working out. During the test the heart rate, blood pressure, rhythm, and electrical activity of the heart is assessed using ECG. This test helps in evaluating whether the blood flow to the heart is adequate while working out.
Other forms of stress test done are – Stress echocardiogram, Stress Thallium and Stress MRI. These tests are used in those people who are unable to walk on treadmill for exercise stress test.
Coronary Computed Tomography (CT) Angiogram
Through this test it is possible to diagnose coronary artery disease using the specialized computed tomography (CT) scan. The scan is performed by inserting a cannula in the vein and then injecting a contrast dye, enabling X-rays to capture detailed images of the heart and its surrounding blood vessels.
This test is done in opd basis to diagnose coronary artery disease.
Congenital heart disease, heart cancer, problems with heart valves, abdominal aortic aneurysm etc. can also be diagnosed through it.
This is widely used now a days and easily available. To be done only after an advice by a cardiologist.
Coronary angiogram or Cardiac Catheterization
This is an invasive cardiovascular exam performed to detect coronary artery disease (narrowing of arteries of blood vessels to heart). Sheath, a short tube is inserted into an artery near the groin or arm. The sheath is next joined to a guide catheter, which is a longer, flexible, hollow tube. A doctor guides the catheter via the chosen artery to the heart with the use of X-ray imaging. The medical professionals carry out certain diagnostic procedures to look for CAD once the catheter has reached the heart.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI scan using radio waves produces digital images of the heart in either still or moving photographs. These tests help in creating images of the heart and the chest through which the severity of the heart issues is detected. The MRI scan is used to detect the damage caused in the heart muscle after a heart attack, heart defects by birth and weakening of the heart muscles or heart failure.
Cardiologist Near Me in Basavanagudi, Bangalore | Dr. Ameet Oswal (MBBS, MD – General Medicine, DNB – Cardiology)