Listening to Your Heart
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women. Determine your risk for developing CAD using this assessment tool.
CAD Risk Assessment
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted, and printed out for the physician's information and further interpretation.
Looking at Your Heart
An echocardiogram (echo) is a simple, painless test that bounces harmless sound waves off the heart. These sound waves become images on a video screen. Your doctor can then see a moving picture of your heart. This test shows how the valves work. It can confirm whether a valve is narrowed or leaking. It can also show the size of the chambers and whether your heart muscle pumps normally. A special type of echo, called a transesophageal echo (TEE), may be done as well. This test can provide even more detailed information about your heart valves. Echo testing can help your doctor monitor changes in your heart over time.
Your doctor may order a chest x-ray for another look at your heart and lungs. You may have an electrocardiogram, a test that shows the rhythm of the heartbeat. You may have cardiac catheterization, a test to look inside the heart. This test helps measure the pressure in the chambers, checks for leaky valves, and looks for problems in the heart’s arteries.