Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

How Do You Detect Congestive Heart Failure?

Doctors diagnose the problem of congestive heart failure based on medical history of patients and later on, conduct a few common tests including a physical examination. Details of each diagnose procedures are mentioned in this article.

How Do You Detect Congestive Heart Failure?

Medical History

In case of medical history for diagnosing congestive heart failure, doctors collect information about your common habits, which include the following-

  • Whether you have kidney problems, diabetes, chest pain commonly known as angina, high blood pressure or any other cardiac or health problem.
  • Your smoking and/or alcohol intake habits and the respective amount.
  • Whether or not you are taking any medicine.

Physical Examinations

Your doctor will check your blood pressure during your physical examination for diagnosing congestive heart failure. In addition, the physician uses a stethoscope for hearing heart failure sounds in lungs and heart. In addition, doctors look for enlarged liver, swollen veins of the patient’s neck and swollen feet.

Tests to Identify Congestive Heart Failure

Other than the mentioned physical examinations, your doctor may order you to undergo with following important tests for the identification of congestive heart failure.

Blood Tests

Doctors recommend for blood tests to the patients to check for thyroid problems, high levels of cholesterol and anemia problems, as these conditions have close relations with the problem of heart failure. In addition, doctors recommend to perform blood tests for BNP i.e. B-type of Natriuretic Peptide, which may indicate the problem of active heart failure.

Urine Tests

Doctors often recommend for urine tests for diagnosing congestive heart failure in combination with blood tests to check any sign or symptom related to diabetes and kidney problems, as major causes of cardiac problems.

Chest X-Ray

Chest X-Ray intends to view the problem of enlargement of heart or congestion of lungs because of fluid.

EKG i.e. Electrocardiogram

The main role of EKG/ECG test is to assess both rhythm and heart rate of a person. This test is even useful to detect heart attack, heart problems, abnormal heart rhythms and enlarged heart, all of which may result in heart failure.

ECG i.e. Echocardiogram

ECG i.e. Echocardiogram for diagnosing congestive heart failure refers to an ultrasound test that evaluates heart functions and muscles to see the way, in which it pumps the heart in a well manner and detect problems by heart valves, which may result in heart failure. Ejection fraction is also measurable and it refers to the amount of blood pumps out from the heart with each heartbeat and the amount of blood pumps from the heart with each of the beats. Normally, the EF should be higher than 50 percent, which indicates that more than half of the volumes of blood within the main pumping chamber of the heart to pump out with every heartbeat.

Radionuclide Ventriculography

Radionuclide Ventriculography intends to show the pumping action done by right and left ventricles when heart contracts. This test also measures EF or ejection fraction.

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI intends to differentiate scar from various normal tissues and abnormalities present in the muscles of the heart. In addition, it also helps in measuring EF and remains available generally in big heart centers.

Exercise Stress Test

Exercise stress test for diagnosing congestive heart failure involves an ECG done at the time when a patient walks on a treadmill, ride on any stationary bike or use medicines for stimulation of exercises to check any problem associated with the function of one’s heart or indicate coronary artery problem.

Cardiac Catheterization

Other than this, doctors perform a wide range of invasive tests, including cardiac catheterization for visualizing the chambers of one’s heart directly. This test for diagnosing congestive heart failure is helpful in determining in case coronary artery problem remains present and may prove a good measure to the problem of EF.

Cardiac catheterization checks the flow of blood in various coronary arteries. It even checks the functions performed by different parts present in one’s heart, which include heart valves, heart chambers and heart walls.

With the help of the above mentioned tests the doctors will be able to successfully detect the congestive heart failure.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 11, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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