When doctors suspect that a patient has SCAD, they admit them to the hospital for testing, observation, and treatment.
Doctors will promptly order an EKG and blood tests to assess for injury to the heart muscle. An echocardiogram will assess the heart muscle and heart valves.
A cardiologist will perform a coronary angiogram, often urgently. With this test, a catheter is gently advanced to the heart through a vessel in the leg. During the test, the cardiologist can see how blood flows through the coronary arteries. These images aid in the diagnosis of SCAD and to plan treatment options.
Some patients with SCAD may benefit from a procedure called stent placement, or from a surgery called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). It is more common, however, for doctors to manage this condition with close observation in a coronary care unit and medications.
A longer period of observation in the hospital may be necessary, sometimes as long as a week or more. Patients are often discharged with long term heart medications, although treatment beyond a year or two is less common.