Home Health and Technology Types of Heart Tests – An A-Z Guide for You!

Types of Heart Tests – An A-Z Guide for You!

Types of Heart Tests
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ECGs. MIT Scans. CT Scans and whatnot?

You may hear these heart test names whenever you visit a cardiologist, Right?!  But, have you ever wondered what they mean and what these heart scan types represent?  

These heart tests can give a broader view of your heart’s condition, and help your doctor devise a treatment plan. 

Let’s understand these diagnostic heart tests and when your doctor orders any of them.

What is a Heart Test? Types of Heart Tests!

Heart diseases are on the rise globally. If caught early, you can avoid or prevent cardiac diseases altogether. To identify cardiac issues, medical professionals use different types of heart tests. 

These heart scan types can help you find if you have a heart disease already or are at risk of developing one. Heart tests can help doctors diagnose and monitor heart conditions and determine the most appropriate treatment plan. 

We’ll examine some of the most popular types of heart tests, their procedures, and what they look for in a heart. 

1- Basic Tests for Heart Health!

Heart diseases may pose several risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, genetics, etc. If you suspect you have any of these risk factors, these basic types of heart tests can help figure out everything for you:

Blood Pressure Measurement

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels and increase the workload on the heart, worsening heart disease over time

By monitoring blood pressure, doctors can identify when it elevates and take steps to manage it, such as through lifestyle changes or medication. 

If your blood pressure is high, your doctor may recommend wearing a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours to measure your BP and heart rate throughout the day. 

Read more about healthy tips for a healthy heart

Blood Tests

Blood tests can provide valuable information about the health of your heart and help evaluate heart disease in several ways:

  • Cholesterol Levels: High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol increase the risk of developing heart disease. A lipid panel blood test measures your cholesterol levels.
  • C-reactive Protein (CRP): CRP is a marker of inflammation that can indicate an increased risk of heart disease. In the C-reactive protein test, high levels of CRP may be indicative of inflammation in the arteries.
  • Blood Sugar Levels: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. A fasting blood glucose test can measure your blood sugar levels.
  • Homocysteine Levels: Homocysteine is an amino acid that can damage the lining of blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. A homocysteine blood test can measure your homocysteine levels.
  • Cardiac Biomarkers: are substances released into the bloodstream when the heart is damaged or stressed. Cardiac biomarker tests can help diagnose a heart attack or other heart problems.

By evaluating blood tests, doctors can better understand a patient’s risk of developing heart disease and develop a treatment plan to reduce that risk.

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2- Imaging Tests for Heart!

Medical imaging tests can assist doctors in understanding what’s going on inside your heart muscles and coronary arteries. To establish a thorough diagnosis, your doctor can choose one scan from different types of heart tests, such as:

Cardiac CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

A CT Scan can image your heart and blood arteries in three dimensions. This image helps your doctor determine if you have Coronary Artery Disease, an arterial blockage, problems with your heart’s working, or a condition affecting the membrane surrounding your heart. 

Cardiac MRI Scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) combines radio waves and magnets to procure images of your heart and its surroundings. These images help diagnose heart diseases and heart valve issues such as Aortic Stenosis, malignancies, and heart attack-related damage. 

Chest X-Ray Scan

A Chest X-Ray Scan can detect symptoms of heart failure and other issues. If it cannot look inside your heart, it can detect other ailments, such as lung diseases influencing your heart function. 


Echocardiography employs sound waves and electrodes to produce an image of your beating heart. Your doctor can use this test to determine how well your heart’s valves and chambers pump blood.

Myocardial Profusion Scans (Nuclear Stress Test)

During a Nuclear Stress Test, your doctor injects a tiny amount of intravenous radiation, which gets collected in the region around your heart. A specialized camera takes images of your heart at rest and during stress. It can determine how well the blood flows from your arteries to the heart muscles. 

This test can also detect heart attack scar tissue or constricted arteries. 

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3- Non-Invasive Heart Tests!

Although images of your heart cannot reveal every potential issue, the following types of heart tests can help diagnose particular conditions:

Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG)

An ECG captures the electrical signal and heart rhythm with electrodes on your chest. It can help your doctor determine whether your heart beats regularly or if you are experiencing an arrhythmia, heart failure, or heart attack.  

Exercise Stress Test

A stress test determines how well your heart performs during physical exercise. This test involves running on a treadmill while your doctor records your heart rate and blood pressure. 

You may even get an EKG, echocardiography, or a myocardial perfusion scan at the same time if your doctor recommends it. 

A stress test can identify suspected Coronary Artery Disease and determine how much activity is safe for you.

Holter Monitoring

This little device, which functions as a portable ECG, is worn for 24 to 48 hours as you go about your daily activities. Holter monitoring can help your doctor better understand your cardiac rhythm at exercise and resting times.

Tilt Table Testing

This test can assist in figuring out whether any fainting or dizzy spells you’ve experienced point toward a cardiac condition. 

For this test, you lie flat on a unique table as it is gradually elevated to a standing posture and then lowered again. Your heart rate and blood pressure are tracked throughout this time to look for changes. 

4- Minimally Invasive Heart Tests!

Sometimes, your doctor may want more information to comprehend what’s happening with your heart. Additional heart scan types other than imaging and monitoring can help with a complete view of arterial blockage or other heart issues. These types of heart tests include:

Cardiac Catheterization

Your doctor performs this test by inserting a catheter – a long, thin tube – into your arm, groin, or neck. The doctor uses imaging to direct the catheter to your heart. If you want a less invasive test, your doctor might suggest angiography. 

Coronary Angiogram

A Cardiac Catheter injects contrast material into your arteries during an angiography. Then, your doctor uses X-ray images to check for indications of arterial obstruction and other issues limiting the blood flow. 

It can resolve with angioplasty, a treatment that opens blocked arteries. 

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Your heart health matters!

Knowing the purpose of any test you are taking or having done is a good idea. In case you have any queries about your test, ask your Cardiologist to explain, and the doctor will be happy to walk you through everything. 

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