Cardiac Diagnostic Tests

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Our highly trained cardiologists conduct a variety of heart tests
and heart diagnostics to detect and prevent heart-related issues.
Our heart surgeons possess the specialized knowledge necessary
to ensure accurate diagnoses and successful treatment plans.

Cardiology Diagnostic Tests and Heart Procedures

Your cardiologist or surgeon may order one of the following tests to accurately diagnose a cardiovascular problem and determine the most appropriate medical and/or surgical treatment options for you. These tests provide vital information about the structure and function of your heart and blood vessels, helping to identify any abnormalities or heart conditions that require intervention.

Some of these heart diagnostics and heart tests are:

Spine angiography involves injecting a special dye into the bloodstream to view the flow of blood through the blood vessels in the body. The dye highlights the blood vessels in x-ray images, allowing detection of weakened areas, blockages, or tears in the blood vessel walls. This exam is critical for diagnosing vascular issues in the spine and surrounding areas.

A carotid Doppler exam uses ultrasound waves to evaluate blood flow through the carotid arteries, which supply blood from the heart to the brain. During the test, a woman lies down while the ultrasound transducer is placed on her neck. Detecting blockages in these arteries is crucial, as it may necessitate additional procedures such as endarterectomy before any major heart or other surgeries.

This is a test that uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart. These images are used to diagnose problems with heart valve function, heart chamber sizes and movement, blood flow and to detect abnormal masses and blood clots.

There are several types of echos that can be performed. The most common is a transthoracic, or an echo that is done with a scanner on the chest wall. There is also a transesophogeal echo that is done with sedation as a scope is placed in the esophagus to obtain pictures of the heart. The last type of echo is a stress echo and is performed while “stress” is placed on the heart by either exercise or medication that is injected into the bloodstream.

Performed by a cardiologist, coronary angiography assesses heart valve function and blood flow to the heart’s arteries. During the procedure, a catheter is placed into a blood vessel in the groin or arm and advanced to the heart. X-ray images are taken while a special dye is injected through the catheter. If a blocked artery is detected, the physician can often open it with a balloon angioplasty and place a stent to keep it open.

For more information, visit: Heart Stent Information

MRI uses magnetic radio waves to create detailed images of the structures inside the body. This non-invasive procedure is valuable for diagnosing and monitoring various conditions affecting organs and tissues, including the heart and blood vessels.

A CAT scan, or CT scan, involves taking a series of detailed x-rays to examine the internal structures of the body. This imaging technique is used to identify problems with the heart, large blood vessels, lungs, and other organs in the chest and abdomen. It provides comprehensive cross-sectional images that help in precise diagnosis and treatment planning.

Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of structures inside the body. This test is used to visualize fluid, blood flow, organ function and size, and detect abnormalities. It is commonly used for evaluating the heart, blood vessels, and other organs.

A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, shows how your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster, an exercise stress test can reveal problems with blood flow within your heart. A stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored. Or you’ll receive a drug that mimics the effects of exercise. Your doctor may recommend a stress test if you have signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). The test may also guide treatment decisions, measure the effectiveness of treatment or determine the severity if you’ve already been diagnosed with a heart condition. Your doctor may recommend a test with imaging, such as a nuclear stress test or echocardiographic stress test, if an exercise stress test doesn’t pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

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