Testing for Coronary Artery Disease

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Coronary Artery Disease can come on slowly, and many people who suffer from the disease don’t recognize the symptoms until they become severe. Even good communication with your doctor is no guarantee of a timely diagnosis, as doctors have a history of failing to diagnose Coronary Artery Disease until the onset of severe symptoms.

The prognosis for Coronary Artery Disease is significantly improved by early diagnosis. Early treatment can double or even triple the likelihood of positive outcomes, and failure to treat until the advanced stages of the disease is likely to yield death or significant impairment. Coronary Artery Disease is extremely common in America, and early diagnosis should be a point of emphasis for all physicians.

Recognizing signs and symptoms is important, as is being aware of risk factors, but it is also important to familiarize yourself with the various tests that can be run to determine whether you are suffering from this illness. Knowing these tests ahead of time can help you steer your conversation with your doctor, and can increase your chances of a prompt diagnosis and treatment.

The most common tests for Coronary Artery Disease include:

  • EKG
  • Coronary Calcium CT Imaging
  • Stress test
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Blood tests

The appropriateness of each of these tests will depend on a variety of factors. If you are showing no symptoms at all, it is unlikely a doctor will order an invasive test, but blood panels and stress tests might still be appropriate. It is important to remember that many doctors have a poor track record of making prompt diagnoses of Coronary Artery Disease. Though it’s not fair, it often falls to the patient to make sure that the doctor is screening for this disease.

If you of someone you love suffers from Coronary Artery Disease, and you believe the prognosis would have been much better with earlier detection, please contact an attorney. An experienced lawyer will know how to help you determine whether or not your physician should have offered quicker diagnosis and treatment.