Heart Disease Diagnosis Explained | Health Channel
There are many tests and procedures for diagnosing heart diseases, which can be confusing for patients. In an interview with the Health Channel, Dr. Harry Aldrich, Medical Director at Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, helps clear things up.
Dr. Aldrich says that the first examination doctors typically do with their patients is a review of their medical history and a physical examination. In the examination, doctors will listen to the sounds of the heart and look for anomalies, such as heart murmurs. Heart murmurs are when the heart makes a noise when it beats and are usually the first sign of heart disease.
The next test that is usually done is called an echocardiogram or ultrasound test, which are non-invasive tests that can evaluate the severity of the murmur. At this stage you can also determine the severity of the heart disease. An electrocardiogram can also be used to look at the heart’s rhythm.
CT scans are another important test for evaluating the overall function of the heart. They can give doctors a look at the coronary arteries or the size of the aorta. This can help determine whether it is the size of the aorta that is causing it to leak.
A cardiac catheterization is usually a last resort test that is done when the doctor decides that the patient is a candidate for intervention. This test helps doctors understand what is wrong specifically so that way the intervention can be planned accordingly. Cardiac catheterization is an invasive test that is usually done in a hospital.
An STS score is an evaluation that determines how risky it is for a patient to undergo surgery. It is determined by factors like age, kidney function, heart strength, and generally looks at how frail the patient is and how severe their illness is. This evaluation is then used to determine whether that patient can have a surgery or not.
To watch the full segment of Dr. Harry Aldrich describing different heart disease tests, visit: https://youtu.be/lL7Z91O-VGw