Advanced Cardiac Testing Helps Define Treatment
Cardiac diagnostic tests give cardiologists a comprehensive, detailed picture of a patient’s heart and how it's functioning. These tests allow the physician to reach a diagnosis rapidly and accurately, and help determine the most effective course of treatment.
Expert Clinical Assessment
Your physicians will meet with you to review your medical history and treatments, perform a thorough physical exam, and form a detailed health assessment. The may ask for further lab work or testing on the way to creating a personalized treatment plan.
The interventional cardiologist will use a slender, flexible tube called a catheter inserted through your femoral or radial artery and special X-rays to create a “road map” of the veins and arteries around your heart. The doctor will look for any narrowed or blocked areas that may need treatment at that time or in the future.
There are different types of stress tests that can help your doctor better understand your heart health. Some involve treadmill exercise that determines exercise tolerance, blood pressure, and heart rhythm issues. Other stress tests are performed at rest using special medications to increase blood flow and simulate stress. Additional heart imaging with a nuclear scan or ultrasound further defines the health of heart muscle, coronary arteries, and valves.
An electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) records the heart’s electrical impulses. These recordings often give the physician an accurate electrical picture of heart irregularities and disease, particularly concerning heart rate, rhythm, and pre-existing physical problems.
Using sophisticated ultrasound equipment, we assess your heart’s function and structures, including the walls, chambers, and valves. Echocardiography is routinely performed along with with cardiac stress testing.
Heart Rhythm Monitoring
Heart rhythm problems may be hard to pick up during an office visit. Your doctor may recommend a Holter monitor, which uses electrodes attached to the chest to record heart activity for 24 hours to 60 days. A newer type of heart monitor, smaller than a AAA battery, may be implanted and wirelessly transmit data to your doctor for several years.
Cardiac MRI is a safe and noninvasive imaging test that's particularly useful in learning how much your heart was affected by a heart attack.
Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring
Taking only seconds to perform, calcium scoring is a painless, noninvasive test that images the amount of calcium-containing plaque in your heart. This test predicts your risk from coronary artery atherosclerosis (narrowing or hardening of the arteries) or other deposits in the heart.
Coronary CT Angiography
Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is a safe and accurate test that measures the degree to which your major heart arteries, stents or bypass grafts are narrowed by disease.
Special catheters tipped with tiny ultrasound devices allow the cardiologist to see plaque directly in coronary arteries. It's also used to inspect the status of coronary stents after a procedure. Special intravascular imaging maps the anatomy of the patient’s coronary vessels from inside out, allowing for better treatment decisions and more precise sizing and expansion of stents when they're needed.
Pulmonary Artery Catheterization
This procedure, also called a “right heart catheterization,” uses a special catheter guided to your heart to measure blood pressures in your heart and lungs—especially in your pulmonary artery. This test helps to assess the pumping capacity of your heart. The catheter may be left in place to test your heart’s response to different medications.
A small amount of radioactive material is injected during a stress test, and the heart is scanned to determine whether blood is evenly distributed to all parts of the heart muscle.