Have Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease? Make Sure With This Checking Method!

Coronary heart disease often appears suddenly, without symptoms/complaints, and is immediately fatal. Diagnosing Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is sometimes difficult, because CHD is often without symptoms/complaints. Therefore, it is better to do an examination, to find out the risk factors you have, so that you can prevent a heart attack which can be fatal.  

The first step in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease

As a first step in diagnosis, the doctor will usually ask about the symptoms of coronary heart disease, lifestyle, family medical history, and perform a physical examination to support the diagnosis of heart disease that you are suffering from. If the results of your initial examination have complaints such as: chest pain or tightness, then during a physical examination a series of examinations will be carried out on your body so that the doctor can find out whether your complaint is coronary heart disease or not.

Various methods of examining coronary heart disease

There are several examination methods that you will undergo to confirm the diagnosis as described below:

  1. Examination of the heart's electrical record (ECG)
    The electrical activity of the heart muscle is important for detecting early symptoms of coronary heart disease. The ECG examination is carried out by the patient in a lying position on the bed. This examination is good for detecting a heart attack but is often less sensitive/accurate for patients with stable CHD. Abnormal EKG results can indicate you have CHD.
  2. Examination of the heart exercise test ( treadmill )
    In this examination, the patient walks or runs on a treadmill where the level of training load will continue to be increased to see your heart's tolerance/ability. During the examination, the doctor will monitor your EKG, heart rate and blood pressure simultaneously.
  3. Ultrasound examination of the heart (Echocardiogram)
    An examination similar to an ultrasound is used to see the structure, anatomy and motion of your heart to form a detailed picture of the heart. This test also checks the performance level of the heart.
  4. Multislice CT scan of the heart
    This examination is carried out mainly to detect the presence of CHD by viewing/photographing images of the coronary arteries and more detailed conditions on the structure of the heart that may not be visible on other examinations.
  5. Cardiac Catheterization (Coronary Angiography)
    Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure using X-rays by inserting a catheter through the peripheral blood vessels (hands/thighs) until it reaches the coronary arteries, followed by administration of a contrast agent to photograph the coronary arteries directly. This examination can accurately detect narrowing or blockages in the heart arteries (coronary arteries), so that until now it is still the gold standard examination to identify & assess blockages in the coronary arteries (CHD). If necessary, cardiac catheterization can be followed by embalming or placing a ring/ stent (PCI), to reopen narrowed/clogged blood vessels.
  6. Laboratory examination
    Laboratory tests are generally associated with CHD risk factors, and are usually used for risk stratification and initial probability of coronary heart disease in an individual.

If you have complaints such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that are similar to coronary heart symptoms, don't hesitate to immediately check your body's health and consult a cardiologist so that an examination test can be carried out for the risk of coronary heart disease.

Article written by dr. Didi Kurniadhi, Sp.PD, KKV, FINASIM, FICA (Consultant Cardiovascular Internal Medicine Specialist at EMC Pulomas Hospital)