High Cholesterol Diagnosis
If screening tests or check-ups reveal high cholesterol, your WellStar physician may perform further evaluations regarding atherosclerosis and related diseases.
To determine whether you have high cholesterol (LDL, or bad cholesterol), your WellStar physician will take a sample of your blood and test it for levels of your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides. Your physician can create a plan for you to achieve the levels listed below:
- Total cholesterol: Optimum is less than 200 mg/dL
- HDL (good cholesterol): Optimum is 40 mg/dL and above
- LDL (bad cholesterol): Optimum is less than 130 mg/dL, unless you are diabetic or have coronary artery disease
- Triglycerides: Preferred is less than 150 mg/dL
If you have high cholesterol and your WellStar physician suspects you may have atherosclerosis, he or she may order tests to determine the extent of any plaque buildup and any effect it may have on heart function. Among the tests:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the electrical activity of your heart and to reveal if there are rhythmic issues or areas of the heart that are not getting sufficient oxygen
- Holter monitoring, using a portable ECG device worn for about 24 hours, to detail your heart’s activity during your usual activities
- Echocardiogram, an ultrasound test, designed to show the pumping performance of your heart
- Cardiac stress test to measure your heart’s performance during exertion
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) technologies, such as electron beam computerized tomography (EBCT) or a CT coronary angiogram, to help your doctor to “see” your arteries. EBCT can reveal calcium within fatty deposits.
- Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA), which uses MRI technology and contrast dye to identify blockages
- Cardiac catheterization, in which a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into your groin or arm and guided through the aorta into your heart. A dye is injected through the tube so that parts of your heart appear in scans.