Many diagnostic tests are available today to show if heart or vascular disease is present. These tests also show if a pre-existing condition is improving or declining. During a physical examination, doctors perform some basic tests such as listening to the heart with a stethoscope (auscultation) to study the sounds of the heart.
Doctors will also take a blood pressure reading using a pressure cuff and a blood pressure machine (sphygmomanometer). Blood pressure readings measure the two parts of blood pressure: systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the force of blood flow through an artery when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the force of blood flow within blood vessels when the heart rests between beats. A blood pressure reading measures both the systolic and diastolic forces, with the systolic pressure listed first.
Additional tests produce different types of information or views of the heart. A variety of options are available for detecting coronary artery disease and other cardiac conditions based on the patients symptoms, medical history, and history of disease which include: