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The tests available to screen for heart disease are numerous and varied in their complexity. Deciding which tests are needed will depend on a number of factors, among them your medical history, your symptoms and your risk factors for heart disease.
Of course, most doctors will start with the least complicated tests first. If they are unable to make a diagnosis using these tests, more complex procedures may be utilized. Still, many tests for heart disease are non-invasive and have a short recovery time.
Some Noninvasive tests
* Resting electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – Measures and records heart activity
* Chest X-ray – Provides an image of the heart
* Holter monitor- Records any irregularities in heart beat over 24 hours
* Echocardiogram- Ultrasound returns live images of the heart at work
* Exercise stress test – Observes the heart's function at maximum heart rate
Other common imaging tests
* Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)- A probe placed in the esophagus uses sound waves to record high quality images of the heart at work.
* Cardiac catheterization- A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel. The physician then guides the catheter through the heart and its blood vessels to evaluate function.