Cardiac Diagnostic Services
About Our Cardiac Diagnostic Services
Riverview's Cardiac Diagnostic Services offer a complete range of tests to help your physician diagnose and treat heart problems. Board-certified cardiologists interpret all of our tests.
Cardiac Event Monitoring
This test records the rhythm of your heart for up to 30 days. The monitor is the size of a beeper that you can remove and apply as needed, for anywhere from two weeks to a month, as prescribed by your physician. The monitor is patient activated. If you experience lightheadedness, heart palpitations, skipped heartbeats, or dizziness, you simply push its button to record or monitor the incident. This information is then sent via the telephone line to the office where it is printed out and evaluated.
Echocardiogram (Cardiac Ultrasound including Doppler & Color-Flow Imaging)
The Echocardiogram directly images your heart. It shows the pumping action, evaluates the function of the heart valves, and detects anatomic abnormalities in the heart. Three electrodes are placed on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The heart is imaged by an ultrasound transducer, which is held against the chest wall in different positions.
The Electrocardiogram records the electrical activity of your heart and provides information about your heart’s rhythm, anatomy, and function.
Holter Monitoring (Ambulatory ECG Monitoring)
The Holter Monitor records the rhythm of your heart for 24 hours or more, and is designed to evaluate and detect any arrhythmia (palpitations) of the heart. You are given a small portable recorder that’s attached to you by several chest electrodes. Your ECG will be recorded for 24 hours, and you will be asked to return the following day to have the recorder removed. You will also be asked to keep a diary of your activities and cardiac symptoms for correlation with the recording. After the recorder is removed, our computer will analyze it, and a board certified cardiologist will evaluate the tracing.
The Signal-Averaged ECG helps your physician decide the significance and proper treatment of certain cardiac arrhythmia. The test is performed in a similar manner to a regular electrocardiogram, except the recording is done for a longer period of time.
The Stress Test, conducted by a board certified cardiologist, evaluates your heart under conditions of physical activity. It analyzes the blood supply to the heart muscle and also provides information about the condition of your heart. Additionally, it can evaluate abnormalities of cardiac rhythm. Electrodes are placed on your chest and your ECG will be recorded while you’re at rest, then while walking on a treadmill at varying speeds and elevations, and then following exercise. Your blood pressure will also be monitored regularly during the test.
Nuclear Stress Testing
This test images the heart after exercise and sensitively reveals abnormalities of coronary circulation and evidence of heart muscle damage. The stress test is identical to the one described above. A radioisotope is injected and taken up by the heart muscle in proportion to its blood supply. Near the end of the exercise period, thallium is injected through an intravenous line, which is started prior to the test. Following exercise, you lie on an examining table and a large nuclear camera will image your heart. You will be asked to return several hours later to be imaged again (without further exercise), in order to compare your heart circulation at rest and after exercise.
The Transesophageal Echocardiogram is similar to the Signal-Averaged Echocardiogram described above, but instead you will be given a local anesthetic and will be sedated, but conscious. An ultrasound probe is passed through the mouth into the esophagus and an echocardiogram is obtained in this position. Since the probe is positioned directly next to the heart, certain parts of the heart can be much better imaged and evaluated than would a routine echocardiography. A board-certified cardiologist performs the test.
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