Diagnostic tools

The angiogram is still the best way to see any problems with the blood vessels and the action of the heart. Ultrasound is less precise with poor resolution and doesn’t show any distinct blood vessels. The beauty of ultasound is that it can be used in conjunction with a stress test to observe the heart under conditions of stress.

In Germany I did the treadmill till I experienced angina then immediately got the ultrasound look at what my heart was doing under those stress conditions. The lower part of the heart stops working showing it is oxygen deprived. Angiogram won’t show this as it is not a quick procedure like ultrasound and you can’t just jump from the treadmill to the Angiogram table, obviously.

During the angiogram not only is die marker injected into the individual arteries but also into the whole heart to observe it beating for signs of damage. However obviously no stress conditions can be set up on the angiogram table unless it is “white coat” stress and that is probably why they wear green operating cloths.

If you don’t have a copy of your angiogram, you should get it and look at it. Because they are two dimentional pictures, they use different angles to get a better idea of the extent of the occlusions as they may be irregular in shape and form. A really good website which explains all this procedure in infinite detail is:

www.cardiologysite.com\html\cath_menu.html

This is a must read for all who have any question whatsoever about the angiogram and after reading what is offered here and viewing your own angiogram, you can converse on an intelligent basis with your cardiologist. Had I completely trusted my doctors, I would have had bypass surgery three times now and still not been any better off. Be informed so you can make rational judgments. I have not had bypass, have had two EECP treatments, and one Granocyte treatment, with another to follow soon.