Health Watch — Heart Smarts: Diagnostic Exams

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Taking care of your heart is a smart thing to do. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about being heart smart. Being smart about the heart begins with your doctor, and doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say doctors can be as accurate as machines in diagnosing heart problems.

Modern medicine offers a variety of high-tech tools for diagnosing illness, but these tests may not always beat old-fashioned methods such as a physical exam and medical history. In a recent study, doctors performed physical exams and took detailed medical histories on patients and estimated the amount of fluid in their bodies — a sign of heart failure. Then patients were given invasive heart catheterizations to measure fluid levels. The fluid level estimates from the physical exam and history were close to the measured levels. Dr. Mark Drazner, a UT Southwestern cardiologist, says he hopes medical trainees will be more interested in learning the art of exams instead of relying on expensive tests.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/heartlungvascular to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in gynecology and obstetrics.

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October 2008

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