Diagnostic tests check if you have a health condition after you experience symptoms or following a routine screening exam. At Englewood Cardiology Consultants, our team of heart experts use the latest testing methods to evaluate and diagnose cardiovascular conditions—from high cholesterol to heart attack.
During this procedure, we insert a very small tube — a catheter — into a blood vessel through your wrist, groin or neck, and extend it to your heart. Contrast dye that we inject through the catheter shows how your heart’s blood vessels are working.
A cardiac cath can measure heart muscle and valve function. It can also show if plaque is narrowing or blocking your coronary arteries as a result of coronary artery disease.
CT Coronary Angiography
For this heart imaging test, we administer a special dye to make your blood vessels visible, and use special X-ray equipment to produce pictures of your coronary arteries, aorta, pulmonary veins, and pulmonary arteries. These images can show if they are blocked or narrowed by calcified plaque, an indicator of coronary artery disease.
Also called an “echo,” this test is done to check how the valves and chambers of your heart are working. The test can also reveal the size of the heart and the thickness and movement of the heart wall.
During an echocardiogram, a health care provider — typically a radiographer or sonographer — uses ultrasound to create a moving picture of your heart. Echocardiograms are painless and noninvasive.
Often called an “EKG” or “ECG” for short, an electrocardiogram measures your heart’s electrical activity. It can reveal signs of heart disease and help predict a heart attack or confirm that a heart attack has occurred.
During an EKG, a health care technician places sensors on your chest, arms, and legs. The sensors are connected to an electrocardiogram machine, which creates a three-dimensional map of your heart’s electrical rhythm. You simply lie still while the map is made; EKGs are painless and noninvasive.
Exercise Stress Test
During this test sensors are placed on your chest to record your heart as you exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike. We monitor and record your heart’s rate and electrical activity, your breathing, and blood pressure. We also note any symptoms you may experience to look for indications of coronary artery disease and angina (that chest pain caused by a shortage of oxygen reaching the heart muscle).
Nuclear Stress Test (Pharmacological Nuclear Stress Test)
In order to give us a better view of your cardiovascular system, a provider will deliver a small amount of radioactive dye into a vein for this test. Then a special camera detects the radiation and produces computer images of your heart that show blood flow.
Like an exercise stress test, this diagnostic tool helps our physicians spot signs of heart conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD). This test may also be called myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI).
Holter Monitoring or Ambulatory EKG
We use this test to record your heart’s electrical activity throughout the day. A regular EKG, which shows your heart’s activity at one moment in time. However, an ambulatory EKG shows us how your heart functions over a longer period of time and while you’re going about your daily routine.
During the test you wear a Holter or mobile cardiac telemetry (MCT) monitor; these are portable devices with sensors that attach to your skin.