Coronary Heart Disease Screening Tests (CAD)

  • Medical Author:
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

View the Heart Disease Slideshow

12 Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

While Chest pain and pressure are the characteristic symptoms of a heart attack, women are somewhat more likely than men to experience heart attack that does not occur in this typical fashion. Instead, some women with heart attacks may experience more of the other symptoms, such as

  • lightheadedness,
  • nausea,
  • extreme fatigue,
  • fainting,
  • dizziness, or
  • pressure in the upper back.

Quick GuideHeart Disease Pictures Slideshow: Coronary Artery Disease

Heart Disease Pictures Slideshow: Coronary Artery Disease

What is coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease (CAD) is atherosclerosis (plaque in artery walls) of the inner lining of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. A similar term, arteriosclerosis which means hardening or stiffening of the arteries is sometimes interchanged with atherosclerosis by some authors. Coronary heart disease is a common form of heart disease and is a major cause of illness and death. Coronary heart disease begins when hard cholesterol substances (plaques) are deposited within a coronary artery. The coronary arteries arise from the aorta, which is adjacent to the heart. The plaques narrow the internal diameter of the arteries (Figure1) which may cause a tiny clot to form which can obstruct the flow of blood to the heart muscle (Figure 2). Symptoms of coronary heart disease include:

  1. chest pain (angina pectoris) from inadequate blood flow to the heart;
  2. heart attack, from the sudden total blockage of a coronary artery; or
  3. sudden death, due to a fatal rhythm disturbance.
Picture of an artery clogged with cholesterol plaque
Picture of an artery clogged with cholesterol plaque
Heart Attack illustration - Coronary Artery Disease Screening Tests
Heart Attack illustration
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/6/2016

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  • Coronary Heart Disease - Type of Test

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  • Coronary Heart Disease Screening Tests - Symptoms

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