- by Dr. Sunil Dwivedi
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- Apr 05 2017
Diagnosis of CARDIOMYOPATHY -diseases of the heart muscle
On a doctor visit, a physical examination of the patient will be conducted. A personal and family medical history will be taken, and patient asked about symptom occurance — for example, whether exercise brings on your symptoms. You may need to undergo several tests if your doctor thinks you have cardiomyopathy, to confirm the diagnosis. These tests may include:
- Chest X-ray. Images of your heart and lungs is displayed by this test. Also, other conditions can be looked into that might explain your symptoms and to see if you have an enlarged heart.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). It is an electrical recording of the signals as they travel through your heart. Evidence of a previous heart attack can be revealed by an ECG. If the signs and symptoms of your atherosclerosis is more evident during exercise, your doctor may ask you to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike during an ECG.
- Echocardiogram. It is a type of ultrasound examination of your heart to produce images of the heart. These images are seen by the doctor to identify heart attack-related problems, including whether there are areas of your heart not getting enough blood or heart muscle that's been damaged by poor blood flow. Sometimes, an echocardiogram is performed during a stress test.
- Coronary angiography. Narrowing or blockade in coronary arteries can be revealed by this test. The test involves injecting a liquid dye into the arteries of your heart through a long, thin tube (catheter) that's fed through an artery, usually in your leg, to the arteries in your heart. The arteries become visible on X-ray, as the dye fills your arteries. Any area of blockage can then be revealed.
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan. During performance of this test, you lie on a table inside a doughnut-shaped machine. Inside the machine there is an X-ray tube which rotates around your body and collects images of your heart and chest. These images can show if any of your heart's arteries are narrowed or if your heart is enlarged.
- Cardiac MRI: In this test, the patient is made to lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine that produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field aligns atomic particles in some of your cells. Signals are produced when radio waves are broadcast toward these aligned particles. These signals vary according to the type of tissue they are. The signals create images of your heart.
- Blood tests. A simple blood test can measure B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a protein produced in your heart. Its level increases when your heart is subjected to the stress of heart failure, a common complication of cardiomyopathy.
Many other blood tests, including those to check your kidney function and look for anemia and thyroid problems, might be done. Your doctor may order for checking your iron level. Increased iron in blood may indicate an iron overload disorder called hemochromatosis. Accumulating too much iron in your heart muscle can weaken it and cause cardiomyopathy.
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