Do you think that you have a risk of heart disease? If you do, you should definitely visit your physician ASAP! Getting medical care immediately is the best way to control heart disease and prevent it from becoming a serious condition that keeps you from living a normal life. Your doctor will recommend a test out of many to help in detecting heart disease in your body. There are many tests that effectively detect heart disease quickly, allowing you to be provided with medical care as quickly as possible.
What Tests Are Available For The Detection of Heart Disease?
Medical technology has come a long way and nowadays, it is possible to detect heart disease quickly and painlessly. Physicians use several tests before they diagnose patients. Apart from chest x-rays and blood tests, the heart disease detection tests that are available today include:
- Electrocardiogram (aka ECG or EKG): When an ECG is conducted, electrical signals are recorded. These signals help doctors in detecting any irregularities that may be present in your heart’s structure or rhythm. This type of test can be done while you are on a bed or while you are exercising. An ECG that is conducted while you exercise is known as stress electrocardiogram.
- Echocardiogram: This is a non-invasive test that uses an ultrasound device to detect heart disease. As the device is moved on your chest, images with accurate details of your heart, its function and structure are obtained. These images will help your doctor make a diagnosis of whether or not you have heart disease.
- Holter Monitoring: In this test, you are required to wear a Holter monitor. It is a device that is portable and used for continuous ECG recording. You will have to wear the monitor for 24 hours minimum and may even have to wear it for 72 hours. Holter monitoring is used for the detection of irregularities in your heart rhythm that may not have been detected when a regular ECG was conducted.
- Cardiac Computerized Tomography: This test is also known as cardiac CT scan and it is often used to detect heart problems in patients. During this scan, an x-ray tube that is present in a machine shaped like a doughnut moves around your body while you lie down a table inside the machine. The tube is used to obtain images of your chest and heart so that it can be determined if you have heart disease.
- Cardiac Catheterization: This test involves the insertion of a short tube into an artery or vein in your arm or leg. Another tube, which is longer, flexible and hollow and known as a guide catheter, is inserted into the short tube. With the help of x-ray images on a screen, the guide catheter is threaded through the artery. When it reaches your heart, measurements of your heart chamber’s pressures can be obtained. Dye is also often injected, which is visible on an x-ray, so that the blood flow through your blood valves and vessels and heart can be checked for abnormalities.
- Multiple Gated Acquisition Scanning: Also known as MUGA, this test involves injecting substances that are radioactive into your blood stream. A scan is then done to determine if your heart muscles have enough blood supply and if you have an underlying heart ailment.
There are other tests that are used to detect heart disease. Your doctor will know which is best to check if you have developed a heart problem. Once the diagnosis is done with the help of tests, you will be given the treatment you need to control the condition.