Cardiac Arrhythmia Diagnostic Testing
It’s a test that records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrode patches that a technician attaches to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. EKGs are quick, safe, and painless. With this test, your doctor will be able to check your heart rhythm or diagnose a heart attack among other things.
An echocardiogram (echo) is a test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make pictures of your heart. It visualizes the structures of the heart and is primarily used to assess the heart’s pump function (ejection fraction) and valvular function.
Cardiac Stress Test
Stress testing provides information about how your heart works during physical stress. Many heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast. During stress testing, you exercise (walk or run on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike) to make your heart work hard and beat fast. Tests are done on your heart while you exercise.
Holter Monitor/Event Monitor
An event monitor is a portable device used to record your heart’s electrical activity when you have symptoms. It records the same information as an electrocardiogram (EKG), but for longer durations of time. Most of these devices can transmit the recorded information directly to your healthcare provider. Holter monitors record continuously, usually for about 24 to 48 hours. Event monitors are typically worn for 1-2 weeks but can be worn up to 1 month. It records when you activate it by documenting a symptom but can also automatically record an abnormal heart rhythm that is detected. These monitors can be very useful in diagnosing arrhythmias that are intermittent.
Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)
An implantable loop recorder, or ILR, is a heart recording device that is implanted in the body underneath the chest skin. Its purpose is to diagnose an underlying arrhythmia that may be causing fainting, palpitations, very fast or slow heartbeats, and hidden rhythms that can lead to strokes. It can store the pattern of activity that happens before, during, and after an “event.” By analyzing the stored data, your physician can determine whether the cause is a rhythm problem and can treat you accordingly.
Tilt Table Test
The head-up tilt table test is a way to diagnose the cause of fainting/dizzy spells.
During the test, you lie on a table that is slowly tilted upward. The test measures how your blood pressure and heart rate respond to the force of gravity. A nurse or technician keeps track of your blood pressure and your heart rate (pulse) to see how they change during the test.
A tilt-table test is used to diagnose patients with syncope or blackouts
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make detailed pictures of your heart and the arteries that lead to and from it. Unlike a standard echocardiogram, the echo transducer that produces the sound waves for TEE is attached to a thin tube that passes through your mouth, down your throat and into your esophagus. Because the esophagus is so close to the upper chambers of the heart, very clear images of those heart structures and valves can be obtained. TEE is typically recommended when the physician wants to examine the heart valves and chambers closely, check for blood clots in the heart, or visualize the left upper chambers of the heart.