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Health > Heart Attack > Diagnosis


Once the emergency care team arrives, they will ask you about your symptoms and begin to evaluate you. The diagnosis of the heart attack is based on your symptoms, ECG and the results of your blood studies. The goal of treatment is to treat you quickly and limit heart muscle damage. In addition, your heart rate and rhythm can be watched. You will also be connected with leads (wires) to a bedside monitor for continuous monitoring of your heart rate and rhythm.

Electrocardiogram : An electrocardiogram – abbreviated as EKG or ECG – is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. An ECG gives us two major kinds of information. First, by measuring time intervals on the ECG, a doctor can determine how long the electrical wave takes to pass through the heart. Finding out how long a wave takes to travel from one part of the heart to the next shows if the electrical activity is normal or slow, fast or irregular. Second, by measuring the amount of electrical activity passing through the heart muscle, a pediatric cardiologist may be able to find out if parts of the heart are too large or are overworked.

Blood Tests : The blood test most commonly used to confirm the existence of heart muscle damage is the creatine kinase (KREE'ah-teen KI'nas), or CK for short. A small fraction of the CK enzyme, CK-MB, is often measured as well. CK-MB shows an increase above normal in a person's blood test about six hours after the start of a heart attack. It reaches its peak level in about 18 hours and returns to normal in 24 to 36 hours. The peak level and the return to normal can be delayed in a person who's had a large heart attack, especially if they don't get early and aggressive treatment.

Echocardiogram (echo): An echocardiogram is also known as ultrasound examination or sound wave picture of the heart. This is taken by a highly trained technician who places a hand-held plastic ultrasound probe against the patient's chest. The probe is connected to a large computer with a video screen. The probe emits sound waves that pass through the chest to the heart. The heart then reflects those sound waves back to the probe. The probe transmits those reflected signals to the computer which reconstructs them into a picture of the heart. This picture is displayed on the screen and recorded on videotape or on a digital storage medium. There are no known harmful side effects from these sound waves. The average test takes about 30 minutes. No patient preparation is required for this test.

Echocardiograms - An echocardiograms shows ....

Cardiac catheterization(angiogram): An invasive imaging procedure that involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm or leg, and guiding it to your heart with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that x-ray movies of your valves, coronary arteries and heart chambers are taken. Docator perfer this test to find out 1, presence of heart disease 2, Evaluate heart muscle function 3, determine the need for further treatment (angioplasty or bypass surgery)

Angiogram - Preparation and procedures for angiogram ....

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