- by Dr. Sunil Dwivedi
- 0 Shares
- Mar 20 2017
Diagnosis of hardening and narrowing of the arteries-ATHEROSCLEROSIS
During a physical examination, the doctor may find signs of narrowed, enlarged or hardened arteries. These include:
- Weakened or absent pulse below the narrowed area of your artery
- Reduced blood pressure in an affected limb
- Hearing whooshing sounds (bruits) over your arteries with a stethoscope
- Noticing a pulsating bulge (aneurysm) in your abdomen or behind your knee
- Delayed or poor wound healing in the area where your blood flow is restricted
Physical examination signs along with high suspicion could lead to your doctor suggesting one or more diagnostic tests, including:
- Blood tests.Blood testing in the laboratory can detect increased levels of cholesterol and blood sugar that may increase the risk of atherosclerosis. These tests are performed empty stomach and you'll need to go without eating or drinking anything but water for nine to 12 hours before your blood test.
- Doppler ultrasound. Your blood pressure may be measured at various points along your arm or leg by the doctor using a special ultrasound device (Doppler ultrasound). Taking these readings can help your doctor gauge the degree of any blockages, as well as the speed of blood flow in your arteries.
- Ankle-brachial index.Atherosclerosis in the arteries in your legs and feet can be detected by this test. Your doctor may compare the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm. This is known as the ankle-brachial index. A difference in readings out of the normal range may indicate peripheral vascular disease, which is usually caused by atherosclerosis.
- 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.
- Stress test.Stress test is also an exercise stress test. IT is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity. By doing exercise on bike or treadmill your heart pump harder and faster than it does during most daily activities. Testing of the heart during and after exercise can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise. The procedure usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm and blood pressure and breathing are monitored. In some types of stress tests, pictures will be taken of your heart, such as during a stress echocardiogram (ultrasound) or nuclear stress test. In patients who are unable to exercise due to some or other reason, a medication that mimics the effect of exercise on heart is used to make it pump harder.
- Cardiac catheterization and angiogram.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.
- Other imaging tests.Other tests that may be employed by doctor to study your arteries include ultrasound, a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). These tests are generally reliable to detect hardening and narrowing of large arteries, as well as aneurysms and calcium deposits in the artery walls.
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