Alternatives to Cardiac Catheterization

Several tests are available to diagnose or look for possible heart disease. The choice of which and how many tests to perform depends on your history of heart problems and current symptoms.
 
The alternatives to cardiac catheterization can give general information about problems in your heart, but they do not give the in-depth information that a cardiac catheterization provides. The simplest alternative tests include:
 
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress test.
     
These also proceed to tests that are more complicated, such as:
 
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (EEG)
  • CT scan or MRI
  • Nuclear scan stress test
  • Stress thallium
  • Spiral CT (computed tomography) scanning.
     
At this time, cardiac catheterization is the most accurate test for looking at your coronary arteries and identifying the location, number, and severity of blockages that are affecting your heart muscle. Also, cardiac catheterization provides in-depth information about heart valves and heart function.
 
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