Noninvasive Cardiac Diagnostics

The Heart Institute offers a full range of noninvasive services to diagnose coronary artery disease. Should you be scheduled for any of the following tests, your doctor will inform you of any pre-testing preparations.

ECG (Electrocardiogram)

ECG Tracings, which represent the changes in electric potential produced by the contraction of the heart, are recorded using an electrocardiograph and evaluated by cardiologists. The ECG will assess your heart rhythm, diagnose poor blood flow to the heart muscle, and detect abnormalities of your heart, such as chamber enlargement or abnormal electrical condition. The ECG helps identify heart problems, such as the risk for heart attack. Service is available 24/7.

Echocardiography

Echocardiography or Echo is the utilization of ultrasound to generate images of the heart’s anatomy and function. During the test, structures, blood flow and valve function are measured and evaluated. An echo is a painless test which is used to detect possible blood clots inside the heart. It can also identify fluid buildup in the pericardium, which is the sac around the heart, and also detects problems with the aorta. Service is available 24/7.

Stress testing

Stress testing is a diagnostic modality utilized to evaluate the response of the myocardium (the muscular tissue of the heart to exercise. It involves a standard protocol of monitored Ambulation on a treadmill at prescribed speeds and inclines, or the injection of a medication, which produces a similar reaction in the heart as exercise. Reactions to stress are monitored through the use of electrocardiography.

Nuclear stress test

A nuclear stress test is a diagnostic modality to test for coronary disease. Nuclear stress testing involves the intravenous injection of a radioisotope, which serves as a marker to measure blood flow to the heart muscle at rest and during stress. It involves the use of a camera that aids in the tracking of the radioisotope. Stress may be in the form of exercise or may be pharmacologically induced. The test is performed in conjunction with the Nuclear Medicine division of the Radiology Department.

Stress Echocardiography
Stress Echocardiography is the utilization of ultrasound to evaluate the anatomic and physiologic responses of the heart to stress. Common indicators for a stress echocardiogram are to determine if coronary artery disease is present and if further treatments are required. Also, the stress test is to evaluate progress following a major cardiac event. Furthermore, the stress echocardiography can be used to investigate the effort of exercise on the heart valve function.