Cardiology check up package
Last updated date: 31-Jan-2023
Originally Written in English
Cardiology checkup package
Cardiovascular disorders kill one out of every three people in the United States. Heart disease, in particular, accounts for around 25% of all fatalities and is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. A Heart Health Check is a routine examination given by your doctor.
Cardiology is the study of illnesses of the cardiovascular system. Cardiologists treat low or high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, heart failure, congenital heart disease, acquired valve problems, and inflammatory heart disease.
A cardiovascular Health Check can help you understand your risk factors for heart disease and predict your chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the following five years. This examination provides for an evaluation of your cardiovascular system as well as a calculation of your risk of developing problems from cardiovascular disorders.
What is cardiac (heart) screening?
Screening checks detect illness before symptoms appear. The purpose of screening is to discover illness at its most curable and early stage. A screening program must satisfy a number of requirements, including lowering the number of fatalities from the given condition, in order to be generally acknowledged and recommended by medical practitioners.
Lab tests that analyze blood and other fluids, genetic testing that seek for inherited genetic markers associated to disease, and imaging scans that provide pictures of the inside of the body are all examples of screening tests. These exams are commonly available to the general public. An individual's requirement for a specific screening test, on the other hand, is determined by criteria such as age, gender, and family history.
Why is heart checkup necessary?
Cardiac disease is a catch-all phrase for a variety of heart problems. These disorders may include, among others, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Heart Failure, Arrhythmia, Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack, Pericarditis, and Congenital Heart Defect.
A heart exam is performed to detect any indicators or probable risk factors that may lead to heart disease. People who are at a higher risk of getting heart disease can learn to live healthier and longer lives if a test is performed early.
What do Doctors Screen for during a heart checkup?
During a heart checkup, your doctor or a heart expert will look for a number of things. Among them are the following:
1. Family History
If heart disease runs in your family, you are more likely to get it due to hereditary factors. Your doctor may ask you a few questions regarding any family history of heart disease. This might include direct or extended family members.
The cholesterol screening professional will assess the level of cholesterol in your body during a heart examination. This will be accomplished using a Lipid Panel Screening, which will entail the measurement of three lipids in your blood.
This test will examine your low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and triglycerides. You are more likely to develop heart disease if you have high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), low levels of HDL (good cholesterol), or high levels of triglycerides.
3. Blood Pressure Levels
Doctors will also examine the amount of pressure your blood exerts on the artery walls when your heart beats. This is referred to as blood pressure. And, because many people have no symptoms of elevated blood pressure, this test may reveal more than expected. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
4. Sugar Levels (Diabetes)
Keep an eye out for the amount of sugar in your blood, often known as blood glucose levels. This is to screen for diabetes, which is still another major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. For this test to be successful, your doctor may advise that you fast for 8 hours before to the procedure.
5. Amount of C-Reactive Protein
Doctors will also look at the quantity of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood. High CRP levels are a sure sign that your body is inflamed or infected. If your test results indicate high levels of CRP, you may have high-risk cardiovascular disease.
6. Abdominal Aorta Measurements
The abdominal aorta is the biggest blood vessel in your body and the major artery in your heart. The disorder known as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm occurs when the lining of this blood channel becomes bloated or inflated.
This condition is normally quiet and only becomes apparent in an emergency. As a result, during a heart exam, doctors may utilize ultrasonography to assess your aorta.
What kind of tests are included in the Cardiac checkup package?
- Cardiological examination
The cardiological examination begins with a review of the patient's medical history. The doctor inquiries about the patient's past illnesses, operations, family ailments, and present problems. This is followed by a physical examination, which first determines the existence of apparent indicators of cardiac difficulties, such as shortness of breath, bluish coloring of the skin and nails in specific places, or edema, particularly in the legs.
The doctor will then check the patient's heart rate and blood pressure. Finally, he taps the chest to examine the size and location of the heart, and then listens to the heart sounds with a stethoscope.
- Electrogardiography (ECG)
The electrocardiogram (ECG) depicts the electrical activity of the heart by utilizing electrodes implanted on the skin to detect minor electrical changes. The ECG curve is shown on paper or on a monitor.
At each beat, the heart muscle contracts and generates electrical impulses. Electrodes put at precise places on the chest can reliably record these signals. Certain disorders can be diagnosed based on the form, protrusions, or flatness of the ECG curve (electrocardiogram). The test is not painful and has no negative effects.
- Stress Tests
Exercise ECG and Exercise Echocardiogram Also known as treadmill test or exercise tolerance test (ETT), The stress test measures how the heart responds to stress or exertion, such as during severe physical activities or workouts. Furthermore, the data may be used to determine the appropriate degree and type of exercise that the patient can do safely.
Electrodes (sensors) will be affixed to the patients' chest and linked to an ECG machine during the treadmill stress exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) procedure. The patient will next be instructed to walk on a treadmill that will gradually increase in speed and steepness. At regular intervals, the patient's symptoms, blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG will be evaluated. If the patient has any symptoms while performing the stress test, he or she should notify the accompanying medical practitioner. The full exam may take around 30 minutes.
The patient will be physically strained during a stress echocardiography, similar to the treadmill stress exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) operation protocol. The patient will be advised to pause at peak exertion so that ultrasound pictures of the heart may be taken to measure heart function during exercise.
- Cardiac ultrasound
Cardiac ultrasonography is an imaging method that produces a moving picture of the heart in action. Its goal is to investigate the architecture of the heart and big blood arteries, to watch the operation of the four ventricles, to accurately measure blood flow parameters, to detect myocardial lesions, valvular heart disorders, pericardial effusion, tissue growth, and heart septum shortage.
Cardiac ultrasonography can also be used to identify scarring after a heart attack, muscle movement problems, valvular heart disease, irregular blood flow between the heart chambers, fluid in the pericardium, or a blood clot in the heart cavities. Ultrasound is a painless imaging technique with no negative side effects on the human body.
- Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring (also known as coronary artery calcium scoring) is a procedure that analyzes the coronary arteries to determine the amount of calcium in the arteries, which is an indicator of the amount of plaque in the arteries. It is important to note that calcium scoring only assesses the presence of plaque. It is unable to assess the degree of coronary artery constriction (stenosis) caused by plaque.
- Coronary CT angiography (CTA) creates three-dimensional pictures of the coronary arteries using computed tomography (CT) and an intravenous contrast material (dye) to assess the exact location and amount of plaque formation.
- Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), often known as a nuclear stress test, involves injecting a tiny quantity of radioactive material into the patient and allowing it to accumulate in the heart. A unique camera captures images of the heart when the patient is at rest and after exercise to measure the effect of physical stress on blood flow via the coronary arteries and to the heart muscle.
- Coronary catheter angiography is a procedure that uses a catheter to photograph the blood flow through coronary arteries, allowing the clinician to observe any blockages or narrowing of the coronary arteries (stenosis). Catheter angiography involves inserting a tiny plastic tube called a catheter into an artery through a small incision in the skin. After the catheter has been directed to the heart, contrast material is administered via the tube and pictures are recorded with X-rays.
What happens if something is detected on my screening exam?
If your screening tests show coronary artery disease, you can take actions to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or worsening heart disease. Your doctor may advise you to make lifestyle changes such as eating a better diet, exercising, and quitting smoking. Medications may also be required. Medicines can be used to address risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD), such as excessive cholesterol, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and poor blood flow. More sophisticated therapies and surgical techniques can help restore blood flow to the heart in some circumstances.
A negative cardiac CT for calcium scoring indicates that no calcification was identified within your coronary arteries, implying that coronary artery disease is nonexistent or so little that this technology cannot detect it. Under these conditions, your chances of having a heart attack in the next two to five years are extremely low.
A positive cardiac CT for calcium scoring indicates the presence of CAD, regardless of whether or not you are having symptoms. The calcium score reflects the degree of calcification. A score of 1 to 10 indicates no evidence of CAD, a score of 11 to 100 suggests mild evidence, a score of 101 to 400 indicates substantial evidence of illness, and a score of 500 or more indicates severe evidence of disease.
Your calcium score predicts the possibility of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) in the coming years and assists your doctor in deciding whether you should take preventative medicine or adopt other steps, such as diet and exercise, to minimize your risk of heart attack.
If an individual has coronary artery disease, efforts to minimize the individual's risk of a heart attack and manage symptoms include lifestyle modifications, drugs, and, if required, medical or surgical treatments such as:
- Angioplasty and stenting: X-rays are used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into a coronary artery and advance it to where the vessel is narrowed or obstructed during an angioplasty treatment. The balloon is then deflated and removed after being inflated to open the vessel. A thin wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently inserted in the newly opened artery during angioplasty to help it remain open. Stents are classified into two types: bare stents (wire mesh) and drug-eluting stents.
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG): CABG is a surgical procedure that reroutes blood around damaged arteries. During this procedure, a healthy artery or vein from another part of the body is linked to a coronary artery to bypass the blockage, establishing a new conduit for oxygen-rich blood to travel to the heart muscle.
How often should you get a heart checkup?
Screening for heart disease is suggested at the age of 20 and above, unless you have a history of heart disease. The frequency with which you return for examinations after that will be determined by your risk factors and heart disease diagnosis. If your blood pressure is less than 120/80mm Hg, the American Heart Association advises a checkup every two years.
Normal risk people should have their cholesterol levels checked every 4–6 years. Sugar levels should be examined every three years at the absolute least. CRP screening should also be performed on people who have a 10–20 percent likelihood of having a heart attack.
The Cardiac Checkup Package is an excellent method for detecting cardiac illnesses at an early stage. It may also aid in the diagnosis of particular problems (e.g., chest discomfort, heart pressure, dizziness, high or low blood pressure, dyspnea). Early identification and treatment of cardiac disease is advantageous and has the potential to save lives.