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What is Cardiovascular Diseases and How Can it Be Diagnosis?

Cardiovascular Diseases

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Located at the middle mediastinum, at the level of thoracic vertebrae of the body is the heart. It is one of the most important organs in the body, providing a fresh and pure supply of blood to all the organs.

Structure of the Heart

The heart is a muscular cone-shaped organ having a length of about 12 CM, breadth of approx. 8 CM, and a thickness of 6 CM. It comprises of 4 main chambers, 2 upper and 2 lower. The 2 Atria in the upper section are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood, and the 2 lower ventricles are responsible for in-taking the deoxygenated blood. Along with these chambers are 4 valves, one on each of the 4 chambers. These valves control the blood flow, in an out of the body.

The Function of the Heart

With its constant pumping motion, the heart in-takes blood, detoxifies it by removing all the metabolic wastes from it, and discharges it. Through this process, it maintains and regulates the blood supply, ensuring that the blood remains fresh and purified at all times, and loaded with all the vital nutrients.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a term given to the range of diseases that affect the heart and subsequently cause a number of disorders such as – stroke, heart failure, aortic aneurysms, carditis, etc.

Some of the primary causes of CVD are –

  • Genetic disorders – Certain genetic traits inherited by the child from his or her parents is none to make CVD more susceptible.
  • Smoking tendencies – Smoking tobacco is the cause of around 10% of the CVD cases. Smoking frequently damages the lining of the arteries. Due to this, bacterial and viral microbes might gain entry into the heart and cause many adverse effects.
  • Physical inactiveness – The degree of physical activity of a person plays a major role in the formation of heart conditions. Due to improper blood glucose regulation and blood pressure fluctuation arising from physical inactivity, a number of ischemic heart diseases are known to develop, and are known to be one of the main causes of heart failure.
  • Dietary habits – Food regulates the supply of essential nutrients into the body. Malnutrition or improper intake of food is known to cause a variety of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertensive heart disease, valvular heart disease, heart arrhythmia, etc.
  • Air pollution – Long term exposure to air-borne pollutants are known to cause a number of cardio-vascular diseases and effects. Harmful air pollutants such as particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, benzene, nitro dioxide, etc. are known to be the cause of a number of cardio vascular disease cases.

Preliminary Diagnostic Tests

As always, prevention is better than cure. Hence catching signs of cardiovascular diseases and treating them before they grow worse is always essential. The basic heart diagnosis done by a doctor comprises of –

  1. Checking the heartbeat with a stethoscope.
  2. Measuring the heart rate and blood pressure using a BP machine.
  3. Chest X-ray (if needed).
  4. Having the patient undergo a blood examination test.

Advance Diagnostic Tests

If cardiovascular illness in the patient is tested to be positive, a series of advanced cardiovascular diagnostic tests are further performed. Some of these are –

1: Cardiac MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

In this test, a powerful magnetic field (about 0.2-03 teslas) is used to generate and pass high frequency radiowaves through the body and create a high detailed image of the heart on the computer screen. The doctor examines the image and looks for cardiac abnormalities.

Diagnosis test procedures –

  • The patient is made to lie down on a bed, flat on his or her back.
  • The patient bed slowly glides into the MRI machine, as the machine revolves slowly, fixed to a wall.
  • The MRI machine captures a detailed image of the heart and its internal parts.

2: Cardiac Catheterization

Also known as the coronary angiogram, this is an imaging based diagnostic test that allows the doctor to see how well the blood vessels in the body are supplying blood to the heart.

Diagnosis test procedures –

  • A long narrow and slender tube called the catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm or leg.
  • It is directed straight to the heart with the help of a special x-ray machine.
  • The doctor utilizes this to monitor the blood flow and pressure, evaluate the heart valve muscles, and to check for any abnormalities in the aorta.

3: Electrophysiology Test

The Electrophysiology test or the EP test is a detailed study conducted to track the electrical activity of the heart. It primarily helps detect the cause of irregularity in the heartbeat rhythm and to know the appropriate treatment for it. Patients are recommended to stop taking certain medications for a few days before the test.

Diagnosis test procedures –

  • The patient is injected with a nerve relaxant drug and is made to lie on the bed and an intravenous (IV) line is inserted into his or her arm/hand.
  • Using a sedative, the doctor numbs the groin area of the patient.
  • Several blood expanding catheter tubes are inserted into a vein, which are directed straight to the heart with the help of a x-ray.
  • The doctor will then stimulate the heartbeat by passing electricity through one of the catheters.
  • If any irregularity in the heartbeat is detected, the doctor will know about the disorder or disease that is affecting the heart and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

4: CT Biopsy

Here, a CT scanner is used to diagnose the heart. Through x-ray emissions, the CT scanner machine develops a detailed image of the heart, which the doctor examines and knows about the ailment affecting it. This helps detect heart attack before-hand and subsequently helps prevent it.

Diagnosis test procedures –

  • The patient is made to lie down on an operation bed
  • An IV line is inserted into the patient’s vein through which medicine is passed during the examination, along with a sedative to help the body relax.
  • The patient is passed through the CT machine which revolves around him or her in order to create a detailed image.
  • An incision is made on the body and a biopsy needle is inserted through it.
  • The doctor uses the CT image to guide the needle to the heart.
  • A small sample of the heart tissue is taken.
  • The tissue is thoroughly examined and any abnormalities affecting the heart are subsequently detected.

5: Pericardiocentesis

The Pericardiocentesis test involves taking a sample of the fluid in pericardium sac that envelops the heart. The fluid is sent to the laboratory where it is examined and various tests on it are conducted. Illnesses such as cancer or Cardiac Tamponade are readily detected.

Diagnosis test procedures –

  • The patient is made to lie down on the operation bed flat on his or her back.
  • IV lines are inserted in case any medications are required during the test.
  • The doctor inserts a needle and directs it straight to the heart with help of an x-ray scan.
  • A sample of the pericardium fluid is collected from the pericardium membrane on the heart.

Heart Treatment in India

India is renowned for its many cardiac treatment facilities. Through these advanced facilities various heart failure symptoms are detected and the adequate treatment is provided. So if heart disease treatment in India is what you are seeking for, look no further!

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