Unstable Angina Evaluation
- Congested lungs
- Creased ear lobe
- Excessive sweating
- Heart murmur
- Rapid pulse
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Leg swelling or foot swelling
- Swelling of the veins in the neck
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:
- Chest x-ray:
- Exercise stress test
- Cardiac catheterization
- Intracoronary ultrasound:
- Shows the structure of the arteries inside the heart
- MRI scan of the heart:
- Shows detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries
- Detects structural abnormalities of the heart
- MUGA scan
- SPECT scanning of the heart:
- Detects blood flow abnormalities to heart muscle
- Thallium heart scan
- Coronary artery CT scanning:
- Checks for possible obstructions in the coronary arteries
- Can show a build-up of calcium in a coronary artery
- Rubidium PET/CT scanning of the heart:
For more information:
Unstable Angina 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:
Unstable Angina 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.
Unstable Angina 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 Unstable Angina Treatment
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