I would like to know what tests are available to detect if one has clogged arteries.
Dear Thank you,
Arteries carry oxygen rich blood to the heart and throughout the body. Clogged arteries, hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque or fatty deposits on the inner surface of the arterial wall. Often, there may be no symptoms until the blood flow is completely blocked to the brain or heart resulting in a stroke or heart attack.
Your physician may suspect atherosclerosis if during physical exam there is a whooshing sound when the stethoscope is placed over the affected artery. Below are the variety of tests that help diagnose atherosclerosis:
TESTS FOR CLOGGED ARTERIES (ATHEROSCLEROSIS)
1. Blood pressure. Elevation implies atherosclerosis, or other causes of hypertension.
2. Vascular lab studies. Doppler to detect differences between blood pressure in arms and ankles (ankle/arm index) used to detect peripheral arterial disease.
3. Blood tests. Check cholesterol and screen for diabetes.
4. Electrocardiogram, ECG or EKG. Records electrical signals, rate and regularity of heartbeat, any evidence of heart disease or prior heart attack.
5. Angiogram. Special dye injected into arteries before an imaging study to identify narrow spots and blockages.
6. Cardiac stress test. Blood pressure and EKG monitored. Echocardiogram may be performed before and after heart is stressed by exercise or medication to make the heart beat faster in order to detect decreased blood flow.