Diagnostic tests are used to evaluate your heart. Each test provides specific information that will assist your doctor in determining if anything is wrong with your heart.
History and Physical
Your doctor will need to know your medical history and examine you to decide which diagnostic tests will need to be ordered. You will be asked many questions about the type of symptoms you may be having, the occurrence of heart disease in your family and questions about your lifestyle such as smoking and exercise history. It is very important that you answer all the questions accurately so your doctor can make the best decision about which tests you need to have to evaluate your heart. You will also have an exam that will include taking your pulse and blood pressure and listening to your lungs.
A chest x-ray is taken to create a film showing the size, shape and placement of your heart, lungs, and other structures within your chest.
A blood test may be performed if you are having chest pain or if your doctor suspects a heart attack. An increase of cardiac enzymes in the blood may indicate that there has been damage to your heart muscle.
This test is performed by breathing into an instrument that can record the amount and rate of air that is inhaled and exhaled over a period of time. Some tests are obtained by normal breathing and others require forced breathing. The test is used to evaluate the lungs prior to surgery or to diagnose certain type of pulmonary disease.