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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Coronary Heart Disease: Diagnosis & Tests
      Category : Health Centers > Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Heart Disease

Alternate Names : Coronary Artery Disease, CHD, CAD

Coronary Heart Disease | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

How is the disease diagnosed?

The diagnosis of CHD starts with a medical history and physical exam. An electrocardiogram, or EKG, may show abnormalities. However, an EKG may be normal between attacks of angina.

A stress EKG is an EKG taken before, during, and after exercise. It is designed to bring on an attack of angina and record the changes that take place in the heart. Sometimes the person is injected with a substance called thallium during the stress test. Special pictures are then taken of the heart. The thallium scan can show areas of the heart that are damaged.

The most reliable test for diagnosing CHD is a cardiac catheterization. In this procedure, a thin hollow tube or catheter is placed into an artery in the leg or arm. It is then passed through the artery and into the coronary artery. A contrast agent is injected into the tube. This allows the doctor to watch the blood flow through the heart and its arteries.

Other techniques that are being used to help in the diagnosis of CHD include stress echocardiograms and new generations of CT scans.

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Coronary Heart Disease: Symptoms & Signs


Coronary Heart Disease: Prevention & Expectations

Author: Eric Berlin, MD
Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
Date Reviewed: 08/10/01

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