In order to evaluate and diagnose angina, the doctor will firstly ask a number of question to decide what triggers your symptoms and what the symptoms are. After this, the doctor will examine you and order 1 or more tests to confirm the underlying angina cause and the extent to which your coronary artery disease has spread, if at all present. The tests ordered may include:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – ECG is used in the recording of your heart’s electrical activity and beating rhythm. Several electrodes will be connected to your chest, legs, and arms. These electrodes will be connected to a machine recording the electrical signals generated with each heartbeat.
- Coronary Angiogram – This test will be used to identify whether coronary arteries have narrowed down and the presence of any severe blockages.
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Exercise Stress Test or Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) – ETT is very similar to ECG. However, this test will be performed while you exercise. This will usually be on a treadmill or exercise bike.
If the doctor suspects unstable angina, you’ll be immediately admitted in the hospital. Based on the severity of symptoms, you could be placed in either a general ward or ICU – intensive care unit.
The doctor or a technician will immediately perform an ECG when you arrive at the hospital to assess the extent and significance of damage that your heart may have experienced.
They will also carry out blood tests to identify the presence of excessively high readings for certain enzymes that are only released when the heart is damaged.
Because of the urgent requirement for treatment to avoid further grave complications arising due to the unstable angina, often, treatment will be begun before all test results are processed.
The above provided information is only for educational purposes. Before seeking any treatment for angina, consult with a medical professional for accurate diagnosis.