Coronary Heart Disease-Tests & Treatments

Many tests help diagnose CHD. Normally more than one test before making a definite diagnosis.
Tests may include: Electrocardiogram (ECG), Exercise stress test, Echocardiogram, Nuclear scan, Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) to look for calcium in the lining of the arteries (the more calcium, the higher your chance for CHD), CT angiography — a noninvasive way to perform coronary angiography, Magnetic resonance angiography and Coronary angiography/arteriography which is an invasive procedure designed to evaluate the heart arteries under x-ray

One or more medicines may be prescribed to treat blood pressure,diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. The purpose of these medications are:

  1. LDL cholesterol level less than or equal to 100 mg/dL
  2. Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels less than or equal to 7%
  3. Blood pressure less than or equal to 120/80 mmHg

Taking aspirin with or without clopidogrel (Plavix) helps prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries and reduces the risk of having a heart attack.

Treatment depends on the symptoms and how severe the disease is. The treatment for CHD, includes:

  1. ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure and protect your heart
  2. Beta-blockers to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen use by the heart
  3. Calcium channel blockers to relax arteries, lowering blood pressure and reducing strain on the heart
  4. Diuretics to lower blood pressure and treat congestive heart failure
  5. Nitrates (such as nitroglycerin) to stop chest pain and improve blood supply to the heart
  6. Statins to lower cholesterol

Procedures and surgeries used to treat CHD include Angioplasty and stent placement, called percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), Coronary artery bypass surgery and Minimally invasive heart surgery

Lifestyle changes and self care are very important. The patient has to

Avoid or reduce the amount of salt (sodium) you eat, Eat a heart healthy diet (one that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fat), Get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight, Keep your blood sugar strictly under control if you have diabetes and Stop smoking.

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