3 Types Of Tests Used To Detect Cardiovascular Problems

Cardiovascular disease is among the most common ailments people will face in their lifetime. Fortunately, there are many types of tests used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular problems before they can cause a heart attack or be fatal.


An electrocardiogram (EKG) is one of the most commonly used tests because it can quickly give medical practitioners an idea of how your heart beats while at rest. The electrodes are placed on strategic areas of your chest and upper-abdomen. A print-out is created that shows your heart rhythm. Based on this print-out, medical professionals can determine if you have a rapid or slow heart rate or if there are abnormalities in the rhythm. An EKG can also be performed while your heart is being stressed, which is called a stress test. During this test, you will be instructed to perform an exercise, such as walking or running. In some situations, medication-induced stress on the heart is needed if you are physically unable to exercise. A stress test is useful in identifying problems that only occur under stress, such as when people notice they become short of breath or lightheaded when they walk up a flight of steps.


An echocardiogram is much like an ultrasound. With more advanced technology in echocardiography, the technician can also see the way blood flows through your heart. This is a type of imaging test that can be used to detect abnormalities with valves inside the heart, which can be the underlying cause of abnormal heart rhythms or when the heart is not effectively pumping blood. Since blood flow can be seen on an echocardiogram, it is also possible to observe abnormalities in some blood vessels. There may be evidence of narrowing or ballooning of blood vessels, which could lead to a heart attack or aortic aneurysm. Much like an EKG, an echocardiogram can also be performed under stress to determine if the results are different.

Coronary Angiography

Coronary angiography is a type of diagnostic and treatment procedure that is done in the heart catheterization lab, and it is typically performed by an interventional radiologist. This procedure combines x-ray visualization with a contrast medium. The contrast is injected into a major blood vessel in the pelvis and pictures are taken via x-ray as the contrast medium flows through the blood vessels. A coronary angiogram is used to identify problems in the circulatory system, such as narrowed or blocked blood vessels. In this manner, the test is considered diagnostic, but it can also be used to treat vascular disease. The doctor performing the procedure may be prepared to treat the problem at the time it is diagnosed. For example, a balloon can be inserted in the same vessel used to inject the contrast medium, this balloon can be threaded up to a narrowed blood vessel and inflated to widen the blood vessel. Generally, a stent is also placed in the same area to keep the blood vessel open.

There are numerous tests used to detect and treat cardiovascular ailments. Most people start with an EKG and may have additional testing, depending on the results of their EKG.

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Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


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