Echocardiography uses an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to assess the functioning and health of the the heart by creating images out of sound waves. In addition to detecting many other heart problems, echocardiograms can diagnose specific heart conditions; determine if heart abnormalities exist; and evaluate the effectiveness of procedures that have been performed on the heart. There are five basic types of echocardiograms: transthoracic (TTE); transesophageal (TEE); stress; Dobutamine stress; andintravascular ultrasound.
Exercise Stress Testing
An exercise treadmill stress test helps a cardiologist find out how well your heart handles work. As your heart rate and blood pressure increase during exercise, your heart requires more oxygen. The test can show if the blood supply to your heart is reduced (by a blockage in the heart’s arteries). It also helps uncover arrhythmias that could be causing your palpitations or fainting. A person taking the test is hooked up to an EKG to monitor the heart rhythm, and walks slowly on a treadmill. Then the speed is increased for a faster pace and the treadmill is tilted to resemble. The cardiologist can stop the test at any time if needed, and afterwards you will sit or lie down to have your heart rate and blood pressure checked. Cardiologists may recommend an exercise treadmill test to help diagnose the cause of your chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or palpitations.
Nuclear Stress Testing
A nuclear cardiology stress test, also known as myocardial perfusion imaging, is used to determine if the heart is receiving an adequate blood supply under both stress and rest conditions. It involves injecting into the bloodstream a small amount of radioactive material that then circulates through the body, helping to evaluate the blood flow and function of the heart. A nuclear cardiology stress test is typically given to those who have symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pains, that indicate coronary artery disease. It is also used to determine the risk of a heart attack, and to show if there is limited blood flow to the heart. A nuclear cardiology stress test helps to diagnose coronary artery disease, and determine the best treatment plan for serious heart conditions.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. It is an excellent screening test that takes less than 5 minutest to perform, and can diagnose a variety of abnormal conditions with your heart.
Tilt Table Testing
A tilt table test, occasionally called upright tilt testing, is a test used to diagnose the cause of fainting. Patients suspected of having fainting from a sudden drop in blood pressure are good candidates for this test. The test starts by having the patient lie flat on a special bed, and then your EKG, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored for the remainder of the test. The table then moves from lying to standing. Most of the time, the patient is suspended at an angle of 60-80 degrees. The test either ends when the patient faints or develops other significant symptoms, or after 20 minutes if the test is normal.
Cardiac Catheterization (angiograms)
A coronary angiogram, also called cardiac catheterization, is an X-ray image of the inside of the heart’s arteries using a contrast dye. The imaging is performed to detect the approximate location of an aneurysm or a blockage that may be causing your chest pain or shortness of breath. A thin tube called a catheter is inserted through an IV into an artery in either the wrist or leg, and then carefully positioned near the heart. The contrast dye is injected and X-rays pictures are taken. If there is a blocked or damaged artery, treatment for the condition can be done at the same time with an angioplasty or stent.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in any cardiac evaluations and would like to know if you are a good candidate, contact our office at (516) 437-5600. Our practice serves Long Island, Queens and surrounding areas.
For more information or to make an appointment for a cardiac evaluation. it’s about time!