Coronary Heart Disease – Diagnosis and Tests
Coronary Heart Disease – Diagnosis and tests
Diagnosis of coronary heart disease (CHD)
Your doctor may carry out a risk assessment for CHD if he or she thinks that you are at risk from the disease. This assessment may form part of the NHS health check. The doctor will initially carry out four key things:
- Review your medical records and ask about your family history.
- Consider your lifestyle, for example how often you exercise and whether you smoke.
- Take blood pressure readings using a monitor.
- Arrange for a blood sample to taken and sent away for measuring cholesterol levels.
Depending on the test the doctor wants to carry out you may eb asked to fast for 12 hours prior to the example being taken.
If the blood tests results indicate a suspected diagnosis, your doctor will usually request additional tests to confirm any disease or disorders associated with the heart. These may include:
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) which measures whether the electrical activity of the heart is normal.
- Exercise stress tests that are designed to test the ability of the heart to respond to external stresses. These are carried out in the presence of trained specialists.
- X-rays to view check the heart and blood vessels.
- Echocardiogram that is used to look at the heart and its connected blood vessels.
- Blood tests are carried out to look for specific makers and enzymes that may indicate issues related to CHD.
- Coronary angiography to look inside the inner space of blood vessels.
- Radionuclide tests to assess the condition of the heart.
- Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans used to create detailed images of the heart so that doctors can see any damage.
Computerised tomography or CT scans involve taking images from multiple angles that produces cross-sectional images of the heart.