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HEALTH ARTICLES

Heart Health Awareness: Common Types of Cardiac Blood Tests

Max Lab

Jan 01, 1970

One of the most important organs in the human body is the heart. Its main function is to pump oxygen-rich blood to different parts of the body. Along with this, it is responsible for transporting hormones and essential enzymes to various organs through the bloodstream. It is a four-chambered muscle located between the lungs and operates on a low-pressure circuit. In today’s times, heart check-ups are recommended to people across the world. This is due to the changing weather conditions, exposure to toxins, genetic mutations, and multiple other reasons. Read on to know more about several blood tests that provide detailed information on the general health and functioning of the heart: 

Types of Heart Diseases 

When the heart is unable to function properly, there can be one or more underlying causes responsible for it. Here are common heart diseases that can often affect individuals: 

  1. Arrhythmia - When the heart beats in an irregular pattern, it is known as arrhythmia. The heartbeats can be either too slow or too fast due to the incoordination of the electric signals in this organ. It can affect the health of the heart if not detected on time. 
  2. Atherosclerosis - This heart condition occurs when the arteries get stiff due to the build-up of fat deposits or plaque. Atherosclerosis can lead to the narrowing of the arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke if proper treatment is not provided. 
  3. Cardiomyopathy - In this group of diseases, the heart muscle weakens to an extent that pumping of blood to other body organs becomes difficult. It is a disease that weakens the heart severely, thus, proper treatment should be sought, without any delay. 
  4. Congenital heart defects - Birth defects related to the structure of the heart are known as congenital heart defects. The causes of this heart disease are varied, so it is important to note the symptoms in an infant or a young child. 
  5. Coronary artery disease (CAD) - When cholesterol and inflammation restrict oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart, then a person can experience chest pain, shortness of breath, etc. Family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular conditions may often lead to CAD. Regular health check-ups to check the heart’s proper function can reduce the risk of heart attacks. 
  6. Heart Infections - Irritants like bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause infection in the heart. Severe inflammation can take place in the heart muscle, inner lining, outer membrane, and heart valves. Based on the kind of microorganism invading the heart, a further prognosis is decided. 

Types of Cardiac Blood Tests 

The diagnosis of several heart diseases is possible with the help of blood tests. You can also understand how to check the heart for blockage through these diagnostic tests. The key is to choose a reputed pathology lab for conducting these blood tests. Accurate information is required to start the best treatment plan. 

  1. Lipid profile test

A lipid profile test provides detailed information about the cholesterol levels in the human body. This is a group of tests that analyse good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and total cholesterol. If the lipid profile test results are abnormal, then the risk of stroke, atherosclerosis, and congestive heart failure can often be high. This cardiac test is a marker of diseases that can have severe symptoms and consequences in the future.

  1. hs CRP test

The full name of this heart test is high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. It is conducted to detect inflammation in the heart, especially in people who have had a heart attack in the past. A high level of hs CRP in this blood test means that the health of the heart requires special attention. Otherwise, it can have serious problems in the long run. 

  1. Natriuretic peptides test

This blood test helps in detecting the B-type natriuretic peptide or BNP hormone in the bloodstream. It is only recommended to people who exhibit signs such as shortness of breath, fatigue, etc. Besides heart failure, other health conditions that can be detected with this blood test are kidney failure, pneumonia, COPD, and many others. 

  1. Troponin Test

Troponin I is a type of protein present in the muscles of the heart. When there is serious damage to the heart, troponins are released into the bloodstream. A troponin test helps in detecting the level of troponin in the blood. A high level of troponin can indicate that an individual has recently suffered from a heart attack. 

Treatment for Heart Diseases 

With the help of cardiac biomarkers mentioned above, a medical practitioner can analyse the health of an individual’s heart. Along with these blood tests, X-rays can also help in determining the condition of the heart. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), Holter monitoring, echocardiogram, stress test, cardiac CT scan, and cardiac MRI scan help in further evaluation of heart health. Since most conditions related to the heart are due to unhealthy lifestyle habits, medical practitioners suggest making positive changes such as having a nutritious diet, performing a physical activity, and quitting smoking/drinking alcohol. Medications are also prescribed to manage a heart condition.

Heart health should be monitored properly. Getting regular check-ups and blood tests from a reputed diagnostic centre can keep this organ hale and hearty.

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