An electrocardiogram, better known as an EKG, is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses electrodes to record the electrical activity of the heart. It can assist in diagnosing a number of heart conditions, including problems with heart size, heart rhythm or the heart muscle. Even when there is no suspicion of heart disease, an EKG is often part of a general physical examination and the results used as a baseline for comparison with any future testing.
Echocardiography (also known as an echocardiogram) uses ultrasound to produce images of your heart's size, structure and motion. It provides valuable information about your heart health and helps gather information about abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias) in the heart.
A stress test helps to determine how the heart functions during exercise to diagnose coronary artery disease, possible causes of symptoms, heart-related conditions and safe levels of exercise. During the stress test, a patient uses a treadmill while heart rate, blood pressure and EKG are monitored. We perform nuclear stress studies, echocardiography stress studies, and pharmacological stress studies.
San Antonio's 64-slice CT scanner provides images of cardiac anatomy with exceptional detail and clarity. This may be useful to your physician if you have congenital heart disease,
which is abnormal heart disease that has been present since birth. A cardiac CT scan may also detect other important anatomic findings, including a small opening between the atria known as a patent foramen ovale. A calcium score is usually performed on 64-slice cardiac CT scans. The calcium score represents the amount of calcium that has built up in the arteries of the heart. The higher the level of calcium, the higher the chance of developing coronary artery disease, which may result in a heart attack.
Angiography is an x-ray technique used in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab to visualize dye that has been injected into the chambers of your heart or the arteries that lead to your heart (the coronary arteries). The test lets doctors measure the blood flow and blood pressure in the heart chambers and see if the coronary arteries are blocked. To perform a cardiac catheterization procedure (Heart Cath), doctors thread a long, thin tube (called a catheter) into an artery in the groin and pass it up into the heart. Once the catheter is in place in the heart, a dye is injected through the catheter and into the heart. The dye helps doctors see how the heart chambers and the coronary arteries are working. The movement of the dye through your heart and coronary arteries is recorded as an angiogram and viewed on a television monitor.
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