Testing & Procedures
Diagnostic tests and procedures are used to determine if a person has cardiovascular disease—including the type of disease, the severity and the most effective treatment methods.
- 64-Slice CT Scan provides detailed 3-D images of the heart in five beats. The 64-Slice CT scan system lets physicians look inside the heart without surgery or the use of a catheter.
- Calcium Scoring is a non-invasive method of obtaining information about the location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.
- Echocardiogram uses harmless sound waves to produce images of the heart to evaluate the structure and movement of the valves and chambers. It can help identify abnormalities of the heart muscle or valves, and detect fluid around the heart.
- EKG Stress Test is general screening tool that tests the effect of exercise on the heart.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) evaluates the electrical activity generated by the heart at rest and with activity.
- Electrophysiology (EPS) looks at the electrical function of the heart. It is the most accurate and reliable method of evaluating heart rhythms and helps physicians determine the most appropriate treatment option.
- Lipid Test measures LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides.
- Nuclear Cardiac Testing produces images by detecting radiation from different parts of the body after the administration of a radioactive tracer material.
- Stress Echo is a non-invasive test that combines two tests, a treadmill stress test and an echocardiogram (ECHO).
- Transesophageal Echo (TEE) uses sound waves to produce images of the heart. The difference between a TEE and a standard echocardiogram is that, in the TEE, the sound waves are emitted from a flexible imaging transducer that has been advanced through the patients mouth into the esophagus to the level of the heart. The TEE images provide a view of the heart that is not obscured by other body organs, such as the lungs.
- Vascular Ultrasound—including Peripheral Arterial Studies, Peripheral Venous Studies, Carotid Artery Studies and Abdominal Vascular Studies—provide pictures of the body's veins and arteries.
- Angiogram involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm or leg, and guiding it to the carotid arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that images of the carotid arteries can be taken.
- Angioplasty involves the insertion of a balloon to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart.
- Brachytherapy is used to reopen coronary arteries that have become blocked after angioplasty.
- Biventricular pacing is a leading-edge pacing device that stimulates both the right and left ventricles of the heart to enhance blood flow. Studies report that it improves patient's symptoms and their quality of life.
- Cardioversion is done by delivering an electrical shock to a patient’s heart to rapidly restore an abnormal heart rhythm.
- External Counter Pulsation is a noninvasive technique to increase oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart. It is performed over a series of several weeks, with each session lasting from one to two hours. Pressure cuffs on the legs are inflated in sequences, gently compressing the blood vessels in the legs and forcing the blood back to the heart.
- Heart Catheterization is an imaging procedure that involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the leg or arm, and guiding it to your heart with the aid of an x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that x-ray images of the valves, coronary arteries and heart chambers can be taken.
- Internal Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) are small devices that are placed below the collarbone. Via wires, or leads, these devices continuously monitor the heart’s rhythm. An ICD issues a jolt of electricity to restore the heart’s normal rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death. They can also can act as pacemakers when a heart beat that is too slow.
- Pacemaker is a small device (about the size of two silver dollars attached together) placed under the skin of the chest just below the collar bone to help regulate heart rhythm.
- Stent—the implantation of a stent for the treatment of coronary artery disease is a common procedure. It is a small, self-expanding, metal mesh tube that is placed within a coronary artery to keep the vessel open. A stent may also be used during coronary artery bypass graft surgery, after balloon angioplasty, or during other heart surgeries. A drug-eluting stent is a tiny mesh tube coated with medication that helps prevent re-blockage of the coronary arteries. The stent is approved for use during angioplasty and is permanently left in the artery slowly releasing a drug that prevents the build-up of tissue.