Test for Artery Blockage


Coronary artery disease is a medical condition where plaque builds up and stops blood flow in the arteries, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (See References 1). It is important to diagnose the condition before it leads to a heart attack, according to the Mayo Clinic (See References 2).


  • An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is used to measure impulses moving toward the heart, according to the American Heart Association (See References 2). The test can show if a patient's heartbeat is irregular, which can signal problems with blood flow within the heart.


  • An echocardiogram uses sound waves to obtain pictures of the inside of the heart. It can show how well blood is flowing through the heart, including its valves, according to the Patient Education Institute (See References 3).

Exercise Stress Test

  • During an exercise stress test, a doctor performs an electrocardiogram and measures heart rate and blood pressure while a patient walks on a treadmill. The test can show if there is a reduction in the amount of blood flowing toward the heart, according to the American Heart Association (See References 4).

Chest X-Ray and CT Scan

  • A chest X-ray is used to get pictures of organs and structures within the chest, including the heart. A computerized tomography (CT) scan is used to get detailed pictures of the arteries, according to the Mayo Clinic (See References 5).

Coronary Angiography

  • During a coronary angiography, dye and a catheter are used to produce X-ray images of the arteries. The test can show areas in which blood flow is restricted in the arteries, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (See References 6).

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