An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a non-invasive, painless test that detects and records the electrical activity of the heart. EKGs are used to evaluate signs and symptoms that could indicate heart problems. It takes only a few minutes to perform.
A carotid Doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive test that measures blood flow and plaque through the carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain. A carotid Doppler ultrasound may be ordered if you have suffered from a stroke before or are at increased risk of having a stroke. Results from a carotid ultrasound can help determine what kind of treatment you may need to lower your risk.
Holter and home event monitoring
Holter and event monitors are medical devices that record the heart's electrical activity and are used to diagnose arrhythmias.
Holter and event monitors also are used to detect silent myocardial ischemia. A Holter monitor is a portable device that is roughly the size of an iPod. It records all of your heartbeats on tape for a continuous period of 24-48 hours and is typically ordered when patients complain of symptoms like dizziness, syncope, or palpitations. A Holter monitor has electrodes that are attached to your chest with adhesive and then are connected to a recording device. Unlike Holter monitors, event monitors do not continuously record the heart's electrical activity. They only record when symptoms occur. For many event monitors, you need to start the monitor when you feel symptoms. Information captured on the monitor's recording device can be used to determine if you have a heart rhythm problem.
Echocardiogram (TTE and TEE)
A trans-thoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is a non-invasive exam that utilizes high frequency sound waves to produce two-dimensional images of your heart. This test provides information about the size and function of your heart and how well your heart's chambers and valves are working. In addition, by using Doppler ultrasound, one can assess how well blood flows through the chambers and valves of your heart and also estimate pressures within the heart.
With standard transthoracic echocardiography, it can be difficult to see the aorta, valves and certain other parts of your heart. It may be necessary to get a better look at these areas. In these cases, it may be recommended to perform a transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). This test is performed in a hospital under mild sedation and involves an ultrasound probe being inserted into your esophagus to get a more detailed image of your heart.
Stress testing provides information about how your heart works during physical stress. During a stress test, you exercise (walk or run on a treadmill). If you cannot exercise, special medications can be given instead. A stress test can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise.
We offer tow types of stress tests in our office:
1) Treadmill exercise stress test (TMET): An exercise stress test involves walking on a treadmill while your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm and EKG are being continuously monitored.
2) Stress echocardiogram: A stress echocardiogram is a more specific test that is used to detect heart disease. The exam consists of three different tests: a resting echo, a stress test on a treadmill, and another echo immediately following exercise.