Atherosclerosis | What It Is, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment Options

Diagnosing Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty deposits plaques build up in the arteries and lead to a narrowing of the artery walls. These cardiovascular events are not always apparent, not even in imaging tests. Thus, diagnosing an early stage of atherosclerosis can sometimes be a bit difficult.

However, atherosclerosis is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases, and it is important to have an early diagnose and start treating the condition as soon as possible.

In order to diagnose this condition, a variety of tests and screenings are available. One method of testing is an ultrasound which uses sound waves to create an image of the blood vessels. This can identify areas of plaque buildup and narrowing but only works for advanced cases of atherosclerosis.

Additionally, a coronary angiogram is available to view the arteries of the heart. This procedure involves injecting dye into the arteries, so that they can be seen more clearly. It is an invasive procedure and it is only required for patients with complications.