What is Heart or Cardiovascular Disease?
Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.
The term heart disease is often used interchangeably with the term cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, are also considered forms of heart disease.
Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history. The tests needed to diagnose heart disease may depend on the condition your doctor thinks you might have.
Besides blood tests and a chest X-ray, tests to diagnose heart disease could include:
- Cardiac catheterization: in this test, a short tube (sheath) is inserted into a vein or artery in your leg (groin) or arm. A hollow, flexible and longer tube (guide catheter) is then inserted into the sheath. Aided by X-ray images on a monitor, your doctor threads the guide catheter through that artery until it reaches your heart.The pressures in your heart chambers can be measured, and dye can be injected. The dye can be seen on an X-ray, which helps your doctor see the blood flow through your heart, blood vessels and valves to check for abnormalities.
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan: this test is often used to check for heart problems. In a cardiac CT scan, you lie on a table inside a doughnut-shaped machine. An X-ray tube inside the machine rotates around your body and collects images of your heart and chest.
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): for this test, you lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine that produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field produces pictures to help your doctor evaluate your heart.
Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with Heart or Cardiovascular Disease but can’t get a full range of tests. Maybe you haven’t been diagnosed with Heart or Cardiovascular Disease but are worried that you may have it and you want to be thoroughly tested.
Have you thought about travelling to an overseas hospital for a full range of tests, perhaps even a second opinion?
IMT can help you access cost-effective, high quality overseas treatment through our partner hospitals in Dubai, Thailand and India. All our affiliated hospitals are internationally accredited and have state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including new CT, MRI and PET scanners.