Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
by Michelle Badash, MS
The doctor may suspect CAD based on your health history and symptoms. A physical exam will be done to look for other signs of CAD. The doctor will use other tests to confirm the presence of CAD. The tests will also help to rule out other issues that have similar symptoms.
The most accurate way to diagnose CAD is with coronary angiography. A device will create real time images of the heart. A thin tube is threaded to the arteries of the heart. A dye is passed through the tube and released in the area. The dye will highlight local blood flow and blockages on images.
Other tests that may detect changes in blood flow include:
Some tests may detect heart damage or other health conditions. These may include:
Blood tests may also be done to look for risk factors for CAD such as:
C-reactive protein (CRP) and other biomarkers as cardiac risk factors. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated February 25, 2016. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated February 28, 2018. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Coronary heart disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coronary-heart-disease. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). American Heart Association website. Available at:
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Updated September 19, 2016. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 7/6/2018
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