This test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. Echocardiography provides information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart chambers and valves are working.
The test also can identify areas of poor blood flow to the heart, areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting normally, and previous injury to the heart muscle caused by poor blood flow.
A chest x-ray takes a picture of the organs and structures inside the chest, including your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It can reveal signs of heart failure, as well as lung disorders and other causes of symptoms that aren't due to CAD.
Blood tests check the levels of certain fats, cholesterol, sugar, and proteins in your blood. Abnormal levels may show that you have risk factors for CAD.
Electron-Beam Computed Tomography
Your doctor may recommend electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT). This test finds and measures calcium deposits (called calcifications) in and around the coronary arteries. The more calcium detected, the more likely you are to have CAD.
EBCT isn't used routinely to diagnose CAD, because its accuracy isn't yet known.
Coronary Angiography and Cardiac Catheterization
Your doctor may ask you to have coronary angiography if other tests or factors show that you're likely to have CAD. This test uses dye and special x-rays to show the insides of your coronary arteries.
To get the dye into your coronary arteries, your doctor will use a procedure called cardiac catheterization. A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck. The tube is then threaded into your coronary arteries, and the dye is released into your bloodstream. Special x rays are taken while the dye is flowing through your coronary arteries.
Cardiac catheterization is usually done in a hospital. You're awake during the procedure. It usually causes little to no pain, although you may feel some soreness in the blood vessel where your doctor put the catheter.