What Is Cardiac Screening
Screening exams find disease before symptoms begin. The goal of screening is to detect disease at its earliest and most treatable stage. In order to be widely accepted and recommended by medical practitioners, a screening program must meet a number of criteria, including reducing the number of deaths from the given disease.
Screening tests may include lab tests that check blood and other fluids, genetic tests that look for inherited genetic markers linked to disease, and imaging exams that produce pictures of the inside of the body. These tests are typically available to the general population. However, an individual’s needs for a specific screening test are based on factors such as age, gender, and family history.
In heart screening, individuals with no signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease; the most common form of heart disease may be evaluated to measure:
Depending on the results of initial screening tests and the presence of risk factors for coronary artery disease, your doctor may recommend additional testing, including:
Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure
Another cause of congestive heart failure is high blood pressure or hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, your heart muscle works extra hard to pump blood through your body.;
As time passes, because of the overexertion, the muscles in your heart can become too weak or too stiff to properly circulate blood to your body.; If you have high blood pressure, your heart muscle workextra hard to pump blood through your body.;
Stress Ekg Or Echocardiogram
Stress tests are performed to see how the heart performs under physical stress. The heart can be stressed with exercise on a treadmill or in a few instances, a bicycle. If a person cannot exercise on a treadmill or bicycle, medications can be used to cause the heart rate to increase, simulating normal reactions of the heart to exercise.
During the stress test, you will wear EKG leads and wires while exercising so that the electrical signals of your heart can be recorded at the same time. Your blood pressure is monitored throughout the test. The stress test can be performed together with the echocardiogram, described above.
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Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can often develop in a person when their heart has been weakened or damaged by some other conditions.;
Though, it is not always the case. Sometimes it can occur if the heart of a person becomes too stiff.;
When a persons heart begins to fail, the ventricles of the heart becomes too stiff, which causes them to not fill properly. Or the heart muscles become so weak and damaged that the ventricles dilate and stretch to an extent that the efficiency of blood circulation throughout the body is affected.;
There are certain other conditions that contribute towards congestive heart failure in a person. They are:;
How Is Angina Pectoris Treated
Many doctors may recommend certain lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a balanced diet low in fats, discontinuing the use of tobacco products and finding ways to reduce stress.
Additionally, you may also be treated with:
- Medication such as aspirin, statins, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or nitrates.
- Angioplasty and vascular stenting: In selected cases, following appropriate testing, your doctor may perform angioplasty and stenting. This procedure, which uses balloons and/or stents, is performed to open the blockage in the coronary arteries and improve blood flow to the heart.
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery : This surgery increases blood flow to the heart by using a vein, or an artery from elsewhere in the body to divert blood flow around the area of narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries of the heart.
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Take Medicine To Protect Your Heart
Medicines may be an important part of your treatment plan. Your doctor will prescribe medicine based on your specific needs. Medicine may help you
- meet your A1C , blood pressure, and cholesterol goals.
- reduce your risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
- treat angina, or chest pain that is often a symptom of heart disease. Angina can also be an early symptom of a heart attack.
- treat heart failure, which is a form of heart disease in which your heart cannot pump blood well enough for your body to work properly.
Ask your doctor whether you should take daily aspirin. Aspirin is not safe for everyone. Your doctor can tell you whether taking aspirin is right for you and exactly how much to take.
Statins can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke in some people with diabetes. In addition, certain diabetes medicines have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and death in patients at very high risk of having a heart attack. Talk with your doctor to find out whether taking a statin or a diabetes medicine that reduces heart attack risk is right for you.
Take medicines the way your doctor or health care team tells you to. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist;if you have questions about your medicines. Before you start a new medicine, ask your doctor about possible side effects and how you can avoid them. If the side effects of your medicine bother you, tell your doctor. Dont stop taking your medicines without checking with your doctor first.
How Is Angina Pectoris Diagnosed And Evaluated
In order to diagnose the cause of angina, the following tests may be performed:
- Electrocardiogram : This test records the electrical activity of the heart, which is used to diagnose heart abnormalities such as arrhythmias or to show ischemia; to the heart.
- Stress test without imaging: This heart-monitoring test is used to help evaluate how well the heart performs with activity. During a stress test, you will usually be asked to perform physical exercise, like walking on a treadmill. An ECG is recorded during the period of exercise. The ECG is assessed by your doctor to see if your heart reached an appropriate heart rate and if there were any changes to suggest decreased blood flow to your heart. If you are unable to perform exercise, pharmaceuticals that mimic the heart’s response to exercise may be used.
- Blood tests: The tests can identify certain enzymes such as troponin that leak into the blood after your heart has suffered severe angina or a heart attack. Blood tests can also identify elevated cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides that place you at higher risk for coronary artery disease and therefore angina.
Additionally, the following imaging tests may be performed:
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Heart Attack And Stroke
- pain or pressure in your chest that lasts longer than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
- pain or discomfort in one or both of your arms or shoulders, or your back, neck, or jaw
- shortness of breath
- indigestion or nausea
- feeling very tired
Treatment works best when it is given right away. Warning signs can be different in different people. You may not have all the listed symptoms.
Women may experience chest pain, nausea, and vomiting; feel very tired ; and have pain that spreads to the back, neck, throat, arms, shoulders, or jaw. People with diabetes-related nerve damage;may not notice any chest pain.
If you have angina, its important to know how and when to seek medical treatment.
- weakness or numbness of your face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
- confusion, or trouble talking or understanding
- dizziness, loss of balance, or trouble walking
- trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
- sudden, severe headache
If you have any one of these warning signs, call 9-1-1. You can help prevent permanent damage by getting to a hospital within an hour of a stroke.
In Addition To Studying Coronary Artery Disease The Method Could Be Used In Other Cases Where Heart Blood Flow Is Affected
Magnetic Resonance Imaging can be used to measure how the heart uses oxygen for both healthy patients and those with heart disease, a study has found. Reduced blood flow to the heart muscle is the leading cause of death in the Western world, said researchers from Lawson Health Research Institute and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the US. Currently, the diagnostic tests available to measure blood flow to the heart require injection of radioactive chemicals or contrast agents that change the MRI signal and detect the presence of disease.
There are small but finite associated risks and it is not recommended for a variety of patients including those with poor kidney function. “This new method, cardiac functional MRI , does not require needles or chemicals being injected into the body,” said Frank Prato, from Lawson Health Research Institute.
“It eliminates the existing risks and can be used on all patients,” Prato said. “Our discovery shows that we can use MRI to study heart muscle activity,” said Prato.
“We have been successful in using a pre-clinical model and now we are preparing to show this can be used to accurately detect heart disease in patients,” he said. Repeat exposure to carbon dioxide is used to test how well the heart’s blood vessels are working to deliver oxygen to the muscle.
Symptoms That Occur First
- Small appearance;
- Puffiness around the eyes;
However, theres a slight problem when a child is suffering from congestive heart failure. The symptoms mentioned above can very likely be mistaken for a repertory infection or colic. This makes it difficult to diagnose congestive heart failure in children and infants when compared to adults.
If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately.;
What Test Is Used To Diagnose Heart Valve Disease
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Obesity And Belly Fat
Being overweight or having obesity;can make it harder to manage your diabetes and raise your risk for many health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure. If you are overweight, a healthy eating plan;with fewer calories and more physical activity often will lower your blood glucose levels and reduce your need for medicines.
Excess belly fat around your waist, even if you are not overweight, can raise your chances of developing heart disease.
You have excess belly fat if your waist measures
- more than 40 inches and you are a man
- more than 35 inches and you are a woman
The Hearts Electrical System
The atria and ventricles work together, alternately contracting and relaxing to pump blood through the heart. The electrical system of the heart is the power source that makes this possible. Heres what happens during a normal heartbeat:
Irregular heart rhythms can also occur in normal, healthy hearts. Arrhythmias can also be caused by certain substances or medications, such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, inhaled aerosols, diet pills, and cough and cold remedies. Emotional states such as shock, fright or stress can also cause irregular heart rhythms.
Arrhythmias that are recurrent or related to an underlying heart condition are more concerning and should always be evaluated by a doctor.
In most cases, treating the underlying condition will take care of the arrhythmia. If not, many medications and procedures are available to eliminate or control the abnormal heart rhythm.
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Point Of Maximal Impulse
The point of maximal impulse of the left ventricle is usually located in the midclavicular line at the fifth intercostal space. With the patient in a sitting position, the physician uses fingertips to identify this point. Cardiomegaly usually displaces the cardiac impulse laterally and downward.
At times, the point of maximal impulse may be difficult to locate and therefore loses sensitivity . Yet the location of this point remains a specific indicator for evaluating the size of the heart.14
What Happens If Something Is Detected On My Screening Exam
If screening tests reveal coronary artery disease, there are steps you can take to lower your risk for having a heart attack or worsening heart disease. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, exercise and smoking cessation.Medications may also be necessary. Medicines can treat coronary artery disease risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and low blood flow. In some cases, more advanced treatments and surgical procedures can help restore blood flow to the heart.
A negative cardiac CT for calcium scoring means no calcification;was found within your coronary arteries, suggesting that coronary artery disease is absent or so minimal it cannot be seen by this technique. Under these circumstances, your chance of having a heart attack over the next two to five years is very low.
A positive cardiac CT for calcium scoring means that CAD is present, regardless of whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms. The amount of calcification is expressed as the calcium score. A score of 1 to 10 indicates minimal evidence of CAD, 11 to 100 indicates mild evidence, 101 to 400 represents moderate evidence of disease and a score of over 500 indicates extensive evidence of disease.
If coronary artery disease is present, steps to reduce the individual’s risk of heart attack and to manage symptoms include lifestyle changes, medications and if necessary, medical or surgical procedures such as:
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What Happens After Cardiac Catheterization
In the hospital
After the cardiac cath, you may be taken to a recovery room or returned to your hospital room. You will stay flat in bed for several hours. A nurse will monitor your vital signs, the insertion site, and circulation/sensation in the affected leg or arm.
Let your nurse know right away if you feel any chest pain or tightness, or any other pain, as well as any feelings of warmth, bleeding, or pain at the insertion site.
Bedrest may vary from 4 to 12 hours. If your doctor placed a closure device, your bedrest may be shorter.
In some cases, the sheath or introducer may be left in the insertion site. If so, you will be on bedrest until your doctor removes the sheath. After the sheath is removed, you may be given a light meal.
You may feel the urge to urinate often because of the effects of the contrast dye and increased fluids. You will need to use a bedpan or urinal while on bedrest so you don’t bend the affected leg or arm.
After the period of bed rest, you may get out of bed. The nurse will help you the first time you get up, and may check your blood pressure while you are lying in bed, sitting, and standing. You should move slowly when getting up from the bed to avoid any dizziness from the long period of bedrest.
You may be given pain medicine for pain or discomfort related to the insertion site or having to lie flat and still for a prolonged period.
Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help flush the contrast dye from your body.
Signs Symptoms And Complications
Symptoms of heart failure depend on the type of heart failure you have and how serious it is.;If you have mild heart failure, you may;not;notice;any symptoms;except during;hard;physical work.;Symptoms can depend on whether you have left-sided;or right-sided;heart failure. However, you can have symptoms of both;types.;Symptoms usually get worse as your heart grows weaker.;;
Heart failure can lead to serious and life-threatening complications.;
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Third And Fourth Heart Sounds
A double apical impulse can represent an auscultated third heart sound . Just as with the displaced point of maximal impulse, a third heart sound is not sensitive for heart failure, but it is highly specific .14 Patients with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy can also have a fourth heart sound . The physician should be alert for murmurs, which can provide information about the cause of heart disease and also aid in the selection of therapy.
Why Might I Need Cardiac Catheterization
Your doctor may use cardiac cath to help diagnosis these heart conditions:
- Atherosclerosis. This is a gradual clogging of the arteries by fatty materials and other substances in the blood stream.
- Cardiomyopathy. This is an enlargement of the heart due to thickening or weakening of the heart muscle
- Congenital heart disease. Defects in one or more heart structures that occur during fetal development, such as a ventricular septal defect are called congenital heart defects. This may lead to abnormal blood flow within the heart.
- Heart failure. This condition, in which the heart muscle has become too weak to pump blood well, causes fluid buildup in the blood vessels and lungs, and edema in the feet, ankles, and other parts of the body.
- Heart valve disease. Malfunction of one or more of the heart valves that can affect blood flow within the heart.
You may have a cardiac cath if you have recently had one or more of these symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Extreme tiredness
If a screening exam, such as an electrocardiogram or stress test suggests there may be a heart condition that needs to be explored further, your doctor may order a cardiac cath.
Another reason for a cath procedure is to evaluate blood flow to the heart muscle if chest pain occurs after the following:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Coronary angioplasty or placement of a stent
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a cardiac cath.
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