To diagnose the cause of your breathlessness, we will firstly send you for a chest X-ray (CXR) to rule out any lung problems and order various blood tests to rule out other non-cardiac causes of shortness of breath. A blood test that we carry out at our centre as a point of care testing is called N Terminal pro-B Natriuretic Peptide (NT-proBNP), which can give a result in 15 minutes. This will help us determine if your shortness of breath is caused by a heart disorder.
Next, we will do an echocardiogram to evaluate the structure of your heart. This will help us to determine if the heart function is normal, or whether there are any valve problems that may be causing your symptoms. We will also measure lung pressure to exclude pulmonary hypertension and rule out structural heart diseases.
Occasionally, shortness of breath may be caused by blockage of the heart arteries so your doctor may choose to do a stress test like a treadmill test or an exercise stress echocardiogram (ESE) in order to rule this out.