Heart Tests

Emmy Award-winning journalist, anchor of Inside Edition and mother of three, Deborah Norville, underwent a cardiac angiogram, a heart test that outlines the coronary arteries, for a story on Inside Edition . At the same time she was researching the story and having the test, her father underwent quintuple-bypass surgery.  "Literally, Daddy was mending from surgery while I was having [the test done]," she says. "So I had a heightened interest in what they were going to tell me." 

The results showed that she had very little plaque in her arteries.

"Considering I grew up in the South, we put grease on everything, and I've got a family history, longer than this table, of heart disease. I was celebrating big time," Deborah says.

Undergoing simple heart tests can help doctors detect heart problems before they become life-threatening.

Coronary Angiogram: An imaging test in which fluid is injected into the coronary arteries, and then the heart and blood vessels are filmed while the heart pumps blood. The images can show blockage, and the test is the most accurate way to assess the presence of coronary disease.

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): An EKG checks the electrical activity of the heart as it contracts and rests. It can identify arrhythmias, heart damage, inadequate blood flow and heart enlargement.

Echocardiogram: A noninvasive test that uses ultrasound to evaluate the shape, structure and strength of the heart muscle and looks at the walls and chambers of the heart. It can help identify irregularities in the heart muscle and valves.

For more on heart tests and heart disease, visit Prevention .