Methods for investigating heart disease

Author : thecreativejournal
Publish Date : 2021-05-26 13:08:27
Methods for investigating heart disease

Methods for investigating heart disease:

The ECG (also known as an EKG) is a recording of the electrical activity of the cardiac muscle fibers. Each contraction of the myocardium is the result of an electrical excitation that comes from the sinus node and transmitted to the heart muscle. These changes in the electrical potential of the heart can be measured on the surface of the body, being presented by a repeated image of electrical cardiac activity. With the help of the electrocardiogram, a series of properties and diseases of the heart can be stated.

EKG is a graphical representation of the electrical activity of the heart recorded by surface electrodes.

Holter monitoring provides doctors with a constant reading of the heart rate and rhythm over a period of 24 hours (or more) and blood pressure. Holter Monitor - Holter monitoring can record heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, when you feel chest pain or symptoms of an irregular heartbeat (called arrhythmia), headache, dizziness,. Your doctor may then look at the time you noticed the symptoms. The results measured and obtained in real time during a normal period of activity / rest allow the diagnosis with increased precision and implicitly the realization of a treatment scheme with maximum success rate.

Holter TA : monitors the patient's blood pressure (BP) in an outpatient setting, in the conditions of performing daily activities, by measuring BP values ​​at variable time intervals set by the specialist.

Holter EKG : allows obtaining additional information in cardiac dynamics and prognosis compared to the classic EKG, allowing the recording of the patient's electrocardiogram under conditions of rest, physical exertion or mental tension inherent in a usual period of activity / rest of 24 hours.

Echocardiography is by far the most important and most frequently used imaging method in the field of cardiology, due to its lower costs compared to other imaging methods (cardiac computed tomography, cardiac scintigraphy, cardiac catheterization) and also due to lack of irradiation (unlike ALL of those mentioned above), which makes it repeatable whenever needed to track the course of a heart patient's disease. Today it is considered that an echocardiography brings much more information than a regular consultation and it is practically impossible to imagine cardiology without an echocardiography. Because on an echocardiography the diseases can be recognized as the first manifestation of any symptom, the method can help the diagnosis.

early heart disease, the only one that can save lives. Therefore, the unanimous opinion is that echocardiography is recommended, to establish the diagnosis, to any cardiac patient or to any patient who has one or more cardiac symptoms:

Exercise test . In cardiology, stress testing involves evaluating the cardiovascular system in conditions of overload. The purpose of such an exercise test is to detect and diagnose hidden heart conditions on clinical and paraclinical examinations, performed at rest or to assess the patient's functional capacity. When is it advisable to take a stress test?

  • You have heart symptoms (chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations) suggesting ischemic heart disease;
  • Bbelong to a group with medium or high cardiovascular risk (metabolic syndrome, diabetes or multiple coronary risk factors), even if not asymptomatic;
  • You are undergoing treatment for a known cardiovascular disease and the doctor wants an assessment of the treatment or functional capacity;
  • You are or will be included in a medical recovery program;
  • You are a man and you are over 40 years old or a woman over 50 years old and you intend to start a regular exercise program. These age limits may be, and even are indicated to be, lower for those with a sedentary lifestyle, with cardiovascular risk factors present, or with a family history of heart disease.
  • You are an amateur or high-performance athlete and you want to assess your functional capacity or detect situations in which the effort could be dangerous to health (for example, limit ECG changes or pathological potential).

An ECG exercise test consists of performing a standardized, progressively increasing physical effort, under the permanent monitoring of the electrocardiogram, blood pressure and sometimes of other parameters such as oxygen saturation of the blood, etc.

Coronary angiography : a unique medical procedure that allows precise verification of the health conditions of the arteries that supply the heart. Through it, it is possible to detect the narrowing of blood vessels, which are called stenoses .

In the presence of these narrowing of the arteries, the blood flow of the heart muscle can be reduced, which can lead to the installation of chest pain, which is called angina pectoris . Therefore, by performing coronary angiography, the interventional doctor can identify the existence of narrowing in the coronary arteries, but also their extension and severity.

CT angiocoronarographyis a non-invasive imaging investigation of the heart and coronary arteries. It is an alternative to classical coronary angiography, performed through a CT installation, not less than 64 slices. These types of modern CT installations involve high-speed scans necessary to quickly capture moving organs. Represents a diagnostic investigation, highlighting the atheroma plaques in the coronary arteries, the type of plaque (soft, calcified, mixed), and their effect on the circulating lumen (stenosis, occlusions). Also, coronary anomalies can be detected, the patent of bypass branches and stents, the morphology and function of the heart valves, the functionality of the myocardium and its degree of perfusion can be evaluated.

Myocardial scintigraphy involves injecting a radiopharmaceutical and then scanning the heart using Gamma Camera technology. The first stage, that of radiopharmaceutical injection, is performed using a challenge test (exercise test).

This is done depending on the patient's physical condition either on a cycle ergometer (or tape) or pharmaceutically by injecting a substance that produces coronary vasodilation similar to exertion.

The technique allows the recording of comparative images that show the degree of vascularization of the heart muscle.

All the details are provided by Dr. Bogdan Danila, cardiologist. When is myocardial scintigraphy indicated? The main indication is the evaluation of ischemic heart disease (narrowing of the arteries of the heart caused by the deposition of cholesterol plaques). Scintigraphy allows the differentiation between an active ischemia (situation in which the muscle is normally irrigated at rest but suffers from exertion) and a post-infarction sequelae lesion (an infarct scar that will not cause changes in exercise state compared to rest). The method is useful in assessing the heart and ventricular contraction (ejection fraction). Also, this technique is a very useful functional method in excluding coronary heart disease or post-infarction ischemia. However,

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is known as an accurate and reproducible method of calculating cardiac volumes and ejection fraction, regardless of the patient's anatomy - so it is useful in tracking patients suspected or diagnosed with heart or aortic disease.

The main indications for performing a cardio-MRI examination are:

  • Evaluation of myocardial viability - better demarcation between normal and infarcted myocardium, delimitation of the area at risk after acute coronary occlusion; MRI shows the dead myocardium as a beach in hypersignal - scar imaging (bright isdead principle)
  • Differential diagnosis of myocarditis vs. myocardial infarction being the only non-invasive imaging method for diagnosing myocardial edema
  • Newly diagnosed heart failure - to establish the etiology
  • Arrhythmic patients - appreciation of the anatomy, function and presence of a possible scar
  • Congenital heart disease - to assess the anatomy, function of syphilis
  • Cardiac tumor - tissue characterization, invasion assessment and monitoring of pre- and postoperative evolution
  • MRI angiography of vasellar


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