Ischemic heart disease test

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Ischemic heart disease tests are important in assessing or diagnosing ischemic heart disease. To better understand the utility of tests, one should apply Bayes theorem, which states that the predictability of a given test depends upon the prevalence of disease in a given population. As such, a positive test in a patient with a low pretest probability (e.g., young female with noncardiac chest pain and no risk factors) would not significantly increase the likelihood of actual disease. Similarly, in those with a high pretest likelihood, the probability of disease will remain high despite a negative test. For this reason, diagnostic noninvasive stress testing is best applied to the group with intermediate probability of coronary artery disease – those with multiple coronary risk factors but atypical chest pain. Noninvasive tests are utilized not only to aid in the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease, but also to establish prognosis, stratify risk, or determine the response to therapy in patients with known coronary artery disease.

Tests include the treadmill stress test, adjunctive imaging techniques, pharmacological stress testing, echocardiography, computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as much more invasive tests such as coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound.

The ultimate goal of ischemic heart disease testing is to assess the viability of the myocardium.