A doctor making an atherosclerosis diagnosis will likely ask a series of questions followed by a physical exam. He or she then may recommend certain tests that can help with making a definitive diagnosis, such as an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and an angiography. Other tests that can help a doctor make an atherosclerosis diagnosis include stress tests, blood tests, and chest x-rays.
Atherosclerosis Diagnosis: An Overview
There is no single test to diagnose atherosclerosis. Therefore, in order to help make an atherosclerosis diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask a number of questions, including about subjects such as:
- Current symptoms
- Other medical conditions
- Current medications
- Atherosclerosis risk factors
- Family history of medical conditions, including heart disease or stroke.
Your healthcare provider will also likely perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms of atherosclerosis, and may recommend certain tests and/or procedures to identify atherosclerosis or any associated complications.
Tests Used When Making an Atherosclerosis Diagnosis
Some of the tests your healthcare provider may recommend to help make an atherosclerosis diagnosis include:
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Chest x-ray
- Stress test
- Nuclear scan
- Ankle/brachial index
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
Your doctor uses your physical exam results, your risk factors, family history, and your symptoms to decide which test or tests to order.