Information on Tests performed

Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG)

The ECG is an electrical map of the heart rhythm and can indicate any changes or potential problems including heart attack, high potassium and irregular heartbeat. It is a non-invasive procedure in which electrodes are placed on legs, arms and the chest wall to record electrical activity of heart.

 

Echocardiography

Also referred to as a cardiac ECHO or simply an ECHO. It is a sonogram of the heart. This is a non-invasive procedure (doesn’t involve breaking the skin or entering body cavities) done by use of standard ultrasound technique. It has no known risks or side effects. Echocardiography is used to diagnose cardiovascular diseases. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart, its pumping capacity and the location and extent of any damage to its tissues. It is especially useful for assessing diseases of the heart valves as well as abnormalities in the pattern of blood flow, such as the backward flow of blood through partly closed heart valves. By assessing the motion of the heart wall, ECHO can help detect the presence and assess the severity of coronary artery disease, as well as help determine whether chest pain, if any, is related to heart disease.

 

Mammography

It is the process of using low-dose amplitude - X-rays to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. Mammography is believed to reduce mortality from breast cancer.

 

Papanicolaou test (also called Pap smear or cervical smear)

It is a screening test used in gynecology for early detection of pre-cancer and cervical cancer. The test may also detect genital infections and other abnormalities. It is recommended that females, age 25 to 65, who are sexually active should do regular Pap smear testing. Guidelines on frequency vary, from annually to every five years. If results are abnormal, and depending on the nature of the abnormality, the test may need to be repeated in six to twelve months.

 

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

This is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. PSA is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer and in other prostate disorders. A blood test to measure PSA is considered the most effective test currently available for the early detection of prostate cancer. The reference range of PSA is less than 4 ng/mL. Increased levels of PSA may suggest the presence of prostate cancer. However, PSA levels can be also increased by prostate infection, irritation, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and recent ejaculation.

 

Lipid profile

This group of tests that are often ordered together, determine risk of coronary heart disease. They are tests that have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerois). It is indicated for persons with family history of heart disease or health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), or being overweight or having sedentary lifestyle. It should be done at regular intervals to evaluate the success of lipid-lowering lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise or to determine the effectiveness of drug therapy such as statins.

 

Fasting blood sugar (FBS) and 2-hour postprandial blood sugar

FBS is the first test done to check for prediabetes and diabetes. It measures blood glucose after you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. 2-hour postprandial blood sugar measures blood glucose exactly 2 hours after you start eating a meal.

 

Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c)

Research has proven that good control of diabetes is the best way to prevent or delay complications of the disease, complications that include heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney damage. While your daily blood testing tells you how your blood sugar is doing right then, allowing you to make necessary changes in medicine, food and exercise, it doesn’t give you a picture of your long-term diabetes management success. To do that, there is glycosylated hemoglobin testing. The glycosylated hemoglobin test, or Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), is a test used to give the most accurate picture of overall diabetes control.

 

Serum Creatinine

A useful and inexpensive method of evaluating renal dysfunction.

 

Abdominal ultrasound

It diagnoses abnormalities in various internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and abdominal aorta and pelvis. With its help organs inside the pelvis can be seen, such as the as urinary bladder or the ovaries and uterus in women.

 

Thyroid function tests (TFTs)

A collective term for blood tests used to check the function of the thyroid. TFTs are indicated if a patient is thought to suffer from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), or to monitor the effectiveness of either thyroid-suppression or hormone replacement therapy.

 

Pulmonary function tests

A group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body’s circulation. Pulmonary function tests are done to:

  • Diagnose certain types of lung disease (especially asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema)
  • Find the cause of shortness of breath
  • Measure whether exposure to contaminants at work affects lung function
  • Assess the effect of medication
  • Measure progress in disease treatment

 

Serum Calcium

Serum calcium is a blood test which is performed to measure the amount of calcium in the body. It helps in monitoring imminent bone diseases or other disorders associated with calcium deficiency in the body. Accordingly, doctors prescribe medicine to the patients to help minimise the effect of this dangerous deficiency.

 

TMT or Stress Test

It is common to find heart patients who have normal ECG. One must remember that the ECGs are taken at rest when the heart is beating at its lowest rate. Even with 90% blocks, the patients can have a normal ECG. In such cases the patient would also agree that at rest there is no pain in the chest, the angina symptoms would only come when they increase the heart rate, while doing some physical exertion like walking. This is the condition where we need a TMT test. The patients are to gradually increase their heart rate, thus increasing the blood requirement of the heart muscles. Simultaneously ECG records are taken. If there is a blockage of approximately more than 70% ECG shows changes, suggestive of Angina.

 

Patients have to physically exert for this test which uses a computerised machine. The level of the exercise is gradually increased according to a standard protocol. The continuous ECG monitoring during the exercise would reflect any blood and oxygen deficit in the muscles of the heart during exercise. The patient is asked to stop exercising as soon as ECG changes appear or any symptoms of chest pain or discomfort or breathlessness are felt.

 

TMT test is also called Exercise Stress Test, Computerised Stress Test or simply Stress test. This is the most easy, popular and common test performed on heart patients to determine the severity of the heart disease. Taken at an interval, this test can also show the improvement or deterioration of patient’s angina.

 

A negative TMT or Stress Test is declared when the patient can reach a certain heart rate without showing any ECG changes. If this rate is reached by the patient without producing any ECG changes, though the TMT can be called negative, but it would not mean that the blockage is zero. It will only mean that the person performing the test probably has a blockage less than 70%.