When you attend a cardiology clinic your consultant will take your history and carry out a physical examination. It is likely that they will request further investigations. These may include the following:
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An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a tracing of the electrical activity of the heart and is an essential component if cardiac investigation. It can give clues to underlying electrical or structural cardiac problem.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound type imaging test of the heart. It is used to c visualise the valves, the overall heart function and the pericardium. It is normally done in a darkened room by either your consultant or an echocardiographer.
Coronary angiography is an invasive test to look at your coronary arteries. It is a day case procedure. Usually it is done from an artery the right wrist or the top of the right leg. A small tube (sheath) is place under local anaesthetic and through this longer tubes (catheters) are passed up into the heart under x-ray guidance. Dye (contrast) is injected into the arteries and x-ray pictures are taken. This is frequently combined with a right heart catheter where a second sheath is placed in the vein and pressure measurements and blood samples are obtained from the right side of the heart and the lungs. Coronary angiography is safe, but has small risks. Bleeding can occur from the access point and some people can be allergic to the contrast. Serious complications such as death, heart attack or stroke occur in fewer than 1:1000 cases.
This is a new technique to treat people with have hypertension (high blood pressure) which is resistant to medications. Evaluation for this treatment is meticulous and done within a multidisciplinary environment. The RDN team at Heart of England have a 50% success rate in achieving meaningful reductions in blood pressure with this therapy. For further information please use the following link:
For more information on all aspects of heart disease and investigation of heart disease, or should you wish to donate to the British Heart Foundation, please click below: