Common tests for Diagnosis of a Heart Disease

Updated on 18 August 2022

Heart disease refers to various heart conditions that can affect heart functioning. It is one of the most common and leading causes of death in India. Heart disease prevalence rates in India over the past several decades have ranged from 1.6% to 7.4% in rural populations and 1% to 13.2% in urban populations.

There are some common symptoms of having a heart disease that should not be ignored,

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain, chest pressure, chest discomfort, and chest tightness
  • Weakness, coldness, pain, or numbness in your arms or legs
  • Pain in the jaw, throat, upper abdomen, back, or neck.

Tests to Rule Out Heart Disease:

When you observe one of these signs, you should visit a doctor and get some tests done. Early diagnosis can lower your risk of getting a stroke or attack. There are different types of tests to diagnose heart disease. Some of these tests can be conducted before you show any signs of heart issues, while others are specifically taken to look for the possible causes,

1. Physical Exam and Blood Tests:

Genetics plays a significant role in heart health. With physical examination, an understanding of family history and running some basic heart-related blood tests it becomes easier for a doctor to detect the possibility of heart disease. Sometimes a simple chest X-Ray may also be advised to get information on the heart's shape and size.

2. Non-invasive Tests:

This is the second step of diagnosing heart disease without any invasive procedure.

  • Echocardiogram: It is an ultrasound of your heart that is used to evaluate heart valves and heart muscles. It helps the doctor to detect any clots or tumours.
  • Heart MRI: In a heart MRI, images of your blood vessels are created while it’s beating. The MRI uses painless magnet waves to evaluate the heart and the blood vessels connected to the heart and lungs. The results help the doctor detect heart muscle or coronary artery diseases.
  • Heart CT: The CT scan uses multiple X-ray images to take an X-ray movie of the heart and lungs without the use of invasive techniques. It is also often faster than an MRI.  
  • ECG (Electrocardiogram): This test tracks the electrical signals from the heart to monitor for various heart problems. Electrodes are positioned on the chest to record the electrical signals of the heart that cause the heart to beat.

3. Invasive Tests:

The doctor may suggest some invasive tests in cases where further investigation is required,

Cardiac catheterization: Here a catheter is inserted into your heart through the groin, hand and arteries. The doctor uses this to conduct tests to check for blood vessel problems and heart abnormalities and get direct information about the blood pressure and patterns of blood flow within your heart.

Cardiologists usually perform angiograms during catheterization. This is done by injecting a special fluid, called dye, through the catheter into a blood vessel or a chamber of the heart

Often certain complications, when left undetected, can even lead to a stroke or attack. The risk can be significantly reduced by undergoing regular check-ups, even when there is no sign of a heart/health issue.






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