Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Pain in the Chest due to Heart Disease Evaluation

The evaluation of angina begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in those with angina may include:

Testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of angina.

Tests that may be used to evaluate angina include:

Additional tests that may be used to evaluate angina include:

For more information:

Pain in the Chest due to Heart Disease Electrocardiogram

An electrocardiogram or ECG can be an effective tool in the evaluation of angina.

How an ECG Works
An electrical impulse stimulates the muscle fibers in the heart to contract. The impulse spreads through the heart in a very organized manner. The heart's normal electrical impulse has a characteristic pattern. The EKG machine displays the pattern of the electrical impulse.

Abnormal electrical patterns on the EKG can help identify heart disease.

The EKG can identify:

Pain in the Chest due to Heart Disease Heart Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization and coronary angiogram are effective tools for evaluating the patient with angina.

How Heart Catheterization Works
During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter (thin plastic tube) is inserted into an artery in the groin, and then threaded up through the aorta to the heart. The catheter can be used to inject x-ray dye into the coronary arteries that supply the heart. An x-ray machine is used to take pictures of the dye inside the coronary arteries. This procedure is referred to as coronary angiography. Using these procedures doctors can detecting narrowing or obstruction of the coronary arteries.

Examples include:

Pain in the Chest due to Heart Disease Thallium Stress Test

Thallium stress testing is an effective tool for evaluating the patient with angina.

How Thallium Stress Testing Works
The thallium stress test identifies areas of the heart muscle that receive reduced blood flow from narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. During the test, thallium is injected into the bloodstream. Heart muscle cells collect the thallium in the bloodstream. If blood flow is reduced through one of the coronary arteries, then the muscle cells that are supplied by that artery do not collect as much thallium as muscle cells that receive normal blood flow. A special camera is used to detect thallium in the heart muscle and a computer constructs images of the heart. The images show areas that receive reduced blood flow.


Continue to Pain in the Chest due to Heart Disease Treatment

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pain in the Chest due to Heart Disease References
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  5. Scheidt S. Treatment of stable angina: medical and invasive therapy--implications for the elderly. Am J Geriatr Cardiol. 2005 Jul-Aug;14(4):183-92. [16015059]
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