Providing Diagnostic Testing
Exercise Stress Test
In some cases, EKG irregularities can only be identified during exercise or while symptoms are present. An exercise stress test demonstrates the effect that exercise and physical activity has on the heart. In many cases, the exercise stress test is performed to determine the causes of chest pain and/or to identify rhythm abnormalities during exercise.
A standard stress test involves the patient walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike while being monitored by an electrocardiogram and blood pressure readings to measure the heart’s response to the body’s increased need for oxygen.
The patient continues the test until a target heart rate is reached, unless chest pain or a dramatic rise in blood pressure occurs. The heart will continue to be monitored for several minutes after exercising.
Nuclear Stress Testing
A radioactive tracer is injected into a vein, and during the scan a camera takes pictures of the heart revealing how well the tracer travels through the coronary arteries and into the heart muscle. Areas not absorbing the tracer may not be receiving adequate blood.
Two scans may be performed during nuclear stress testing; one while resting and one while the heart is stressed by exercise or medicine. The images are then compared and reviewed by one of our physicians.
Echocardiograms produce images that show:
- Heart defects
- Valve problems
- Damage to heart muscle
- Heart size
- Heart pumping efficiency
A physician may recommend an echocardiogram if he or she suspects a problem involving the patient’s valves, chambers or pumping strength.
A stress echocardiogram may be performed to help in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease and the presence of blockages in the coronary arteries.
Worn by the patient, the Holter monitor is a portable EKG device that monitors the electrical activity of a person’s heart during normal activity. Following the 24 hour period, the patient brings the monitor back to his or her physician, and a technician scans through the thousands of beats and generates a report of irregular rhythms or rates.
The event recorder test allows for on-demand heart monitoring during a patient’s normal activities. When the patient experiences an episode of dizziness, weakness or palpitation, he or she will push the button on the device, which stores the data. Following the testing period, the monitor is returned to your physician to record data.
Tilt Table Testing
The tilt table test is administered to help determine how the body responds to changes in position and susceptibility to faint by reproducing the symptoms. The patient is connected to ECG and blood pressure monitors while lying on a table that tilts in various directions. The test helps identify if the patient is prone to sudden drops in blood pressure or slow pulse rates.
Uses sound waves to examine the main blood vessel leading blood away from the heart.
Uses sound waves to examine to blood flow through the arteries in your neck.
A bubble study is a noninvasive test that allows healthcare providers to assess the flow of blood through the heart. It is done during an echocardiogram (echo), an imaging study that shows the heart’s structure, and involves the delivery of saline mixed with air into a vein.
Similar to the vein scan, uses sound waves to check the circulation of the arteries that take blood away from the heart. Commonly looks for blockages in the legs.
Uses sound waves to look at the circulation of the veins that return blood back to the heart. Commonly used to search for blood clots.
EKG / ECG
Measures the electrical activity of the heart. Used to identify abnormal rhythms and can show current or previous injury to the heart.