Invasive Tests and Procedures

Learn more about these common heart attack tests

Blood Tests

Blood testing may include the following:
Cardiac enzymes (including troponin and creatine kinase), C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, homocysteine, lipoproteins, triglycerides, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and prothrombin.

Reason for Test

  • Confirms that a heart attack has occurred and determines extent of damage.
  • Assesses future risk for coronary artery disease.
  • Provides information on the time it takes for the blood to clot.

Cardiac Catheterization

What the Test Does
Examines the inside of your heart's blood vessels using special X-rays called angiograms (View an animation of an angiogram). A thin hollow tube called a catheter is threaded from a blood vessel in the arm, groin or neck to the heart. Dye is injected from the catheter into blood vessels to make them visible by x-ray. It takes 2-3 hours. View an illustration of a cardiac catheterization.

Reason for Test

  • Evaluation of chest pain to show if plaque is narrowing or blocking coronary arteries. This is called coronary angiography.
  • To perform a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) such as coronary angioplasty with stenting to open up blocked segments of a coronary artery.
  • Can measure blood pressure within the heart and oxygen in the blood.
  • Can evaluate heart muscle and valve function.
  • Helps determine best course of treatment.

Learn more about coronary angiogram and cardiac catheterization.

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