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Coronary Artery Disease Screening Tests (CAD)

WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY SCREENING TEST

Many individuals face Coronary Artery Diseases with symptoms like an unexpected heart attack or an abrupt death, with no prior chest pain as a caution. For this specific reason, Doctors prefer to perform the screening test to identify early signs of Coronary Artery Diseases before the occurrence of severe medical conditions and provide preventive measures for the same.

HOW THE SCREENING TESTS FOR CORONARY ARTERY IS DONE

Primary diagnosis is made via various tests, including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress test
  • Heart Scan

These tests are done under the supervision of doctors, and the treatment is carried out based on reports received after these tests are concluded.

BEFORE SCREENING TEST

The patients might be asked to stay away from caffeine and smoking for hours before the test. The patients might also be asked to remove clothing above the beltline region and are given a medical gown to wear. Any jewelry around the neck or chest area should also be taken off during the test.

DURING THE SCREENING TEST

Before the screening test is conducted, the technician attaches sensors known as electrodes to the chest of the patients. These electrodes are then attached to an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which monitors the heart activity during the exam and synchronizes the timing of X-ray pictures between heartbeats when the heart muscles are relaxed.

The patients who are anxious or nervous might be given a pill or an injection to slow their heart rate and calm them down. The entire procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

AFTER THE SCREENING TEST

After the test is conducted, no special precautions are needed to be followed by the patients, and they could quickly drive themselves home and continue with their daily activities.  

RESULT OF THE SCREENING TEST

The result of the test is given in a numeric form, known as the Agatston score. This score determines the total area of calcium deposits and the density of the calcium in the patient’s body.

  • A score of zero indicates that no calcium is seen in the heart, and suggests that the chances of future heart attacks are minimal.
  • When calcium is present, the higher the score is, the higher is the risk of heart diseases in the patients.
  • A score between 100 and 300 indicates that there is a moderate plaque deposit, and is associated with a comparatively high risk of heart attack or other heart diseases over the coming years.
  • A score greater than 300 is a warning of very high to severe disease and heart attack risk.

 

Patients might also receive a percentile score, which signifies the amount of calcium compared to people of the same age and sex group, which would help patients in maintaining an appropriate score.

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