Exams and Tests
Heart failure is a complex problem. So you will likely have several different tests over time. These tests can:
- Find out if you have heart failure.
- Find the cause of your heart failure.
- Find the Reference type of heart failure you have.
- Show how bad your heart failure is (Reference class and Reference stage).
- See how well your treatment is working.
If you have symptoms that suggest heart failure, you may have:
- A review of Reference your medical history and a physical exam.
- Reference Lab tests.
- Reference Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) and stress tests.
- Reference Chest X-ray.
- Reference Echocardiogram (echo).
- Reference Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).
- Reference Cardiac catheterization.
An echocardiogram is the best and simplest way to diagnose heart failure. It also can help guide treatment.
Sometimes, because of a person's weight, breast size, or severe lung disease, an echocardiogram might not be accurate. If that happens, a Reference cardiac blood pool scan may be done instead. It checks how well the left ventricle is pumping. But it's not as good at finding Reference heart valve disease Opens New Window and a thick heart muscle.
Tests also may be done to find areas of the heart that are not getting enough blood. These tests include:
- Reference Cardiac perfusion scan. This test can show poor blood flow to the heart.
- Reference Cardiac catheterization. This test can be used to check for blocked or narrowed heart arteries and to measure pressures inside the heart.
When you're taking medicine for heart failure, you may have Reference regular blood tests to check how the medicine is working.
- Reference How Often You'll See Your Doctor for Heart Failure
- Reference Systolic Heart Failure
- Reference Diastolic Heart Failure
- Reference Right-Sided Heart Failure
- Reference High-Output Heart Failure
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
- Topic Overview
- Health Tools
- What Increases Your Risk
- When to Call a Doctor
- Exams and Tests
- Treatment Overview
- Living With Heart Failure
- Coping With Your Feelings
- Other Treatment
- End-of-Life Decisions
- Other Places To Get Help
- Related Information