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Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Echocardiogram—Ultrasound that detects abnormalities in the heart muscle by highlighting areas of poor blood flow.
- MRI scan—Evaluates blood flow to the heart muscle.
- PET scan—Evaluates blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Cardiac CT scan—Detects calcium deposits that may indicate early atherosclerosis.
- Exercise stress test—Records the heart's electrical activity during increased physical activity. It may be coupled with other tests that detect blood flow through the heart. People who cannot exercise may be given IV medication that simulates the effects of physical exertion.
- Chest x-ray—Detects heart enlargement or congestion in the lungs. This test can help diagnose heart failure or an unrelated lung condition.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)—The EKG records the electrical activity of your heart through electrodes attached to the skin. This test will help diagnose heart rhythm problems, muscle abnormalities, and damage to the heart from a previous heart attack.
- SPECT scan—Evaluates blood flow to the heart muscle or looks for signs of a heart attack.
- Elevated C-reactive protein levels
- Cholesterol levels
- High blood glucose levels (diabetes)
C-reactive protein (CRP) as a cardiac risk factor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 9, 2012. Accessed January 27, 2014.
Coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 16, 2013. Accessed January 27, 2014.
How is coronary heart disease diagnosed? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cad/diagnosis.html. Updated August 23, 2012. Accessed January 27, 2014.
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Single-Photon-Emission-Computed-Tomography-SPECT%5FUCM%5F446358%5FArticle.jsp. Updated November 6, 2012. Accessed January 27, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/12/2014