Ischemic Heart Disease Diagnosis

If you or a loved one experience unexplained symptoms such as chest pain, fatigue, swelling or shortness of breath, make an appointment with your doctor. It is important to diagnose heart conditions early, so we can begin treatment. Our cardiologists have the necessary expertise to obtain a precise diagnosis.

Diagnosing Ischemic Heart Disease

Your doctor will begin the diagnosis by asking you about your symptoms and your medical and family history. Most of the time, we can diagnose the condition based on physical exam and imaging tests. In rare cases, we may need to perform a biopsy, a surgical procedure to remove some heart tissue, in order to rule out certain diseases.

Diagnostic procedures include:

  • Physical Exam - Fletcher Allen cardiologists will perform a thorough physical exam to help diagnose your condition. We will listen to your chest and examine you for signs of fluid buildup in the body. Signs include:
    • Crackling sound in lungs
    • Enlarged liver
    • Swelling in legs and ankles
    • Elevated pressure in the neck vein
  • Imaging tests - We use the most advanced imaging technology available. These procedures provide us with a detailed picture of your heart. We use these scans to determine the location and extent of the heart disease. Imaging tests include:
    • Echocardiogram, a type of ultrasound, provides moving images of your heart. We may use an echo to determine if you have decreased ejection fraction, a measure of how well your heart is pumping.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can also help us determine your ejection fraction

Ischemic Heart Disease: Treatment

Once we obtain an accurate diagnosis, we will create your individualized treatment plan. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. Your treatment plan may include one treatment or a combination of treatments. Learn more about ischemic heart disease treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call us at 802-847-4600.