Change Type Size Print Friendly Page Email Page

Cardiac Symptoms, Conditions and Diagnosis

Are you at risk for heart disease?

Early warning signals for heart disease, including mild heart attack symptoms, signs of congestive heart failure and heart blockage symptoms, can be difficult for individuals to detect. If you have two or more of the following factors, you could be at risk.

  • Women 55 and older or who are postmenopausal
  • Men 45 or older
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure, or hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • History of tobacco use
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Overweight or obese

We can diagnose cardiovascular disease early

Cardiac calcium scoring

To determine your risk for a heart attack, you can have a non-invasive, 15-minute procedure called calcium scoring or CT heart scan. Doctors use a special X-ray test called computed tomography (CT) scan to check for the buildup of calcium in plaque on the walls of the coronary arteries that could, in time, narrow the arteries or even block blood flow to the heart, resulting in angina, a stroke or heart attack.

You can schedule a calcium scoring test without a doctor's order by calling Outpatient Scheduling at 847.618.3700.

Coronary CT angiogram

If your calcium scoring shows a possible risk or you have known risk factors for heart disease, you may need to have a coronary CT angiogram. This test uses X-rays along with a special injected dye to make the blood vessels easier to see, providing detailed pictures of the heart and the blood vessels. It can show whether a blood vessel is blocked, where the blockage is and how big the blockage is—or whether there is a bulge (aneurysm) or a buildup of fatty material called plaque in a blood vessel.

Other NCH cardiovascular diagnostic testing options

  • Stress testing/electrocardiogram (ECG)—Tests done during exercise or at rest to evaluate heart blockage symptoms and screen for hardening of the coronary arteries.
  • Holter monitors and event monitors—To detect and record abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Echocardiography/transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)—Tests using sound waves to create an image of your heart to assess the health of its structure and chambers.
  • Cardiac catheterization—To further diagnose cardiac issues by inserting a catheter to measure the pressure within the heart’s chambers.
  • Peripheral vascular procedures—To diagnose and treat blood vessels in the arms, legs and neck.
  • EP study—To diagnose abnormal heart rhythms by checking the electrical activity and pathways in your heart.
  • Vascular ultrasound—To measure blood flow in your arteries.
  • Tilt table tests—To check for sudden drops in blood pressure if your position changes.

If your doctor recommends cardiovascular testing, call Outpatient Scheduling at 847.618.3700 and schedule all your tests with one simple call.

If you are having cardiovascular or cardiac cath lab diagnostic testing:

Here are important test preparation guidelines to follow before your cardiovascular or cath lab test. Click on the specific test below for a PDF of instructions.

Call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968) or view our team of physicians to find a cardiologist or other physician who is right for you.

Back To Top
Last Updated 2012/10/24