What Tests Are Done To Diagnose An Actual Heart Attack?

Question: What tests are done to diagnose an actual heart attack?

Answer: The first thing when you have a symptom of a heart attack -- which is chest pain, neck pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, often pain going down the arm -- is to get to a hospital emergency room.

And there are two mainstays of diagnosis. One is an electrocardiogram, an EKG that looks for particular changes that indicate that there's damage being done to the heart muscle. And the other is a blood test where enzymes are measured. Now those enzymes go up within a few hours of the onset of a blockage in the coronary that's shut down blood flow. And if those enzymes are elevated or if the electrocardiogram is abnormal, you've got a heart attack and you should be taken immediately to the heart catheterization laboratory to have that blocked coronary reopened.

Next: What Does An EKG Show During A Heart Attack?


Previous: What Happens When I Get An Abnormal Result On My Stress Test?
-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4217005. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4217005. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4217005.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
A Gilchrist county sheriffs car sits at the end of a trailer home where 7 members of a family were slain by their grandfather in Bell, FL, Thursday, Sept., 18, 2014. The grandfather, Don Spirit, pictured, also killed himself.
Phil Sandlin/AP Photo | Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office
St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church in Ecorse Michigan
PHOTO: Right, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are seen in this file photo.
Sean Gardner/Reuters|David Goldman/AP Photo