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Exams and Tests

Your health care professional will take your blood pressure using both your right and left arms. Then he or she will compare the top number (systolic blood pressure). He or she also may take your pulses and listen to them with a stethoscope.

Another good test to find out whether there is narrowing in your arteries is to do an ultrasound. This test is painless and without any risk. It may take about 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes, this test may not give good images of the arteries under the chest bone. For imaging of those arteries in the chest, a CT scan with contrast or an MRI with contrast may be requested.

These tests will give your health care team a very good idea about whether you have a blockage and how severe it is. In rare cases, an angiogram may be needed. In this test, a small tube called a catheter is placed inside a blood vessel in your wrist or groin and then moved to the area to be studied to take pictures and measure the pressure across the blockage.

  • Last Edited 01/31/2018