Diagnosis of CVD is based on your medical and family histories, your
risk factors, a physical examination and a number of tests and
procedures. If you are at a risk of CVD, a risk assessment for
cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke can be done by checking
your blood pressure level and a blood test to determine the cholesterol
level. Blood test to check for cholesterol level should be done in 10 to
12 hrs of fasting so that no food in your body that could affect the
The life style factors such as diet,exercise and whether you
smoke or consume alcohol should be considered as part of the diagnosis.
To confirm a suspected diagnosis, a number of different tests can be done which include:
Electrocardiography is a must do test in suspected CVD. It should be
done immediately when a suspected person is admitted to hospital. An ECG
measures the electrical activity of your heart. It produces tiny
electrical impulses, each time your heart beats. An ECG machine records
these signals onto paper, to help determine how well your heart is
functioning. whether the heart beat is steady or irregular.
takes around five minutes to perform. It is a painless procedure where
electrodes are attached to your arms, legs and chest. Wires from the
electrodes are connected to the ECG machine which records the electrical
An ECG helps confirm the diagnosis of a heart attack as
well as helps determine what type of heart attack you have had. An ECG
can show signs of heart damage due to CVD. Treatment will be carried out
depending on the type of attack.
stress testing, you are told to exercise to make your heart work hard
and beat fast. If you are unable to exercise, you may be given medicines
to increase your heart rate.
It needs more blood and oxygen, when
your heart is working hard and beating fast. When the coronary arteries
are narrowed due to formation of plaque, enough oxygen-rich blood can
not be supplied to meet your heart's needs.
- A stress test can show possible signs and symptoms of CVD, such as:
- Abnormal changes in your heart rate
- Change in your blood pressure level
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Abnormal changes in your heart rhythm or your heart's electrical activity
you exercise and while you rest, images of your heart are taken as part
of some stress tests. These imaging stress tests will show how well
blood is flowing in your heart and how well your heart pumps blood when
An echocardiogram is a type of
scan that uses sound waves to build up a moving picture of your heart.
This will identify exactly which areas of the heart have been damaged
and how this damage has affected your heart's function.
diagnosis of a heart attack is uncertain and there are other possible
causes of your symptoms, such as a pocket of air trapped between the
layers of your lungs,a chest X-ray can be done.
A chest X-ray can
also done to check for the complications that have arisen from the heart
attack, such as pulmonary oedema which is build-up of fluid inside
A blood sample will be taken to test
for heart proteins known as cardiac markers. These are the enzymes that
help regulate chemical reactions that take place in your body. Damage
to your heart from a heart attack causes these proteins to slowly leak
into your blood.
The protein that has to be measure is known as
cardiac troponin. Your troponin levels will be measured through a series
of blood samples taken for few days. This will assess the amount of
damage to your heart, and also help determine how well you are
responding to treatment.
Blood tests also check the levels of certain fats, cholesterol and sugar in your blood.
angiography is done to determine if a blockage or narrowing has
occurred in the coronary arteries . This test also helps to locate the
exact location of the blockage or narrowing.
In this test a thin tube
known as a catheter is inserted into one of the blood vessels in your
groin or arm. Using X-rays, the catheter is guided into your coronary
arteries. A contrast agent is pumped through the catheter which will
shows up on X-rays how it flows around and through your heart. This
study can help locate the site of any blockage or narrowing.
test does not detect coronary microvascular disease (MVD). This is
because coronary MVD does not cause blockages in the large coronary
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses
multiple X-ray images to create a cross-sectional image of your heart.
Different types of CT scans are done to diagnose heart disease, such as a
calcium score screening heart scan can be done to check for calcium
deposits in your coronary arteries, or coronary CT angiography is
conducted to check for fat or calcium deposits in your arteries.
Cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) stress test:
MRI uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create both still and
moving images of your heart and major blood vessels as it beats.