Tests and diagnosis
This is the first test done to diagnose a heart attack. It's often done while you're being asked questions about your symptoms. This test records the electrical activity of your heart via electrodes attached to your skin. Impulses are recorded as "waves" displayed on a monitor or printed on paper. Because injured heart muscle doesn't conduct electrical impulses normally, the ECG may show that a heart attack has occurred or is in progress.
Certain heart enzymes slowly leak into your blood if your heart has been damaged by a heart attack. Emergency room staff will take samples of your blood to test for the presence of these enzymes.
If your doctor decides you haven't had a heart attack and your risk of having a heart attack is low, you'll likely have an echocardiogram before you leave the hospital. This test uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart. During an echocardiogram, sound waves are directed at your heart from a transducer, a wand-like device, held on your chest.
An X-ray image of your chest allows your doctor to check the size and shape of heart and its blood vessels.
This test helps identify blood flow problems to your heart. Small amounts of radioactive material are injected into your bloodstream. Special cameras can detect the radioactive material as it is taken up by heart muscle.
Coronary angiogram (cardiac catheterization)
Computerized tomography (CT) angiogram
Exercise stress test
Treatments and Drugs
• Beta blockers
• Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
• Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
• Calcium channel blockers
• Cholesterol-lowering drugs
• Clot-preventing drugs
Surgery and other procedures
• Angioplasty and stenting
• Coronary bypass surgery