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How can valve blockages be diagnosed?

Q: What is the alternative test for an angiogram, which does not need immediate operation and detects valve blocks? My father is a diabetic patient, since he had a heart attack last year. Does he still have to undergo the test?

A:If you are looking for blockages in the valve, which we call stenosis in medical language, then 2D echocardiography is the gold standard. However, if you are looking for blockages in the arteries of the heart, which in medical terms we called, coronary artery disease, then coronary angiography still is a gold standard test. As a screening test, one can do electron beam CAT Scan which gives correct information in about 85-90% of cases but you still need cine coronary angiography for any further treatment. Echocardiography and CT scan are non invasive tests but coronary angiography is a invasive test and a person needs to be hospitalised for one day. I hope I have answered your queries, but if you have any other doubts, please feel free to contact me and it shall be my pleasure to answer them.


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