Dr. Ravindra L. Kulkarni, Pune based Interventional Cardiologist suggests; Heart disease is diagnosed based on your medical and family history, risk factors, physical examination and results from tests . No single test is conclusive of Heart disease , however tests definitely hint towards underlying severity of Heart disease , where early intervention & treatment can prevent a lot of complications.
One or more of the following tests can be recommended:
- Electrocardiography (EKG) – It is a simple painless test that shows how fast the heart is beating and its rhythm. It can show the signs of heart damage due to current or previous heart attack. When in doubt , it is always better to monitor serial ECgs or go for stress test TMT .
- Tread mill Test (TMT) or stress test – In this exercise you are made to exercise to make your heart work harder and beat faster. If you can’t exercise for as long as what is considered normal for someone of your age, your heart may not be getting enough oxygen rich blood. Stress test shows how well blood flows in your heart and how well your heart pumps blood when it beats. We study ability to exercise , development of chest pain or breathlessness & ECG changes while exercise . positive stress test means the person needs to undergo further invasive cardiac evaluation like coronary angiography .
- 2 D Echo (Echocardiography) – It provides the information about the size and shape of heart and how well your heart chambers and valves are working.Test is useful for those who cann’t run on treadmill like arthritis , old age .
- Blood test – Includes lipid profile, blood sugar, cardiac enzymes. High cardiac enzymes levels are a sign of recent heart attack.We must take a note of total cholesterol , good cholesterol and bad cholesterol values .
- Coronary Angiography and diagnostic catheterization – a day care procedure which studies the blood supply of heart itself . It detects the blockages in large coronary arteries. Test gives fair idea about severity of the illness and also suggests further treatment options like angioplasty , bypass surgery or medicines .