Comprehensive non-invasive tests are performed in our office to pinpoint our patient’s cardiovascular problems quickly and accurately to provide accurate diagnoses and the best possible outcome for our patients.
Ankle Brachial Indexes or ABI
The ankle brachial index test is a quick, noninvasive way to assess your risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD). The test compares your blood pressure measured at your ankle with your blood pressure measured at your arm. A low ankle-brachial index number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs and can lead to circulatory problems, leg pain, heart attack or stroke.
Electrocardiogram (“ECG” or “EKG”)
An electrocardiogram is a noninvasive, painless test used to monitor your heart. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse normally generated from special cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. The EKG records these electrical signals as they travel through your heart and can be used to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions.
An exercise treadmill test involves walking on a treadmill at increasing speed and elevation while your blood pressure, heart rate, and an electrocardiogram of your heart are monitored for any changes. Most patients will walk for an average of six to twelve minutes.
A Holter Monitor is a noninvasive test to evaluate cardiac rhythm abnormalities; it has also been used for assessing pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator function, ischemia, late potentials, and heart rate variability.
The benefit of the ambulatory ECG recording lies in its ability to continuously examine the patient’s cardiac rhythm over an extended period of time during normal routine activity, including any physical and psychological changes. In contrast to the standard ECG, which provides a fixed picture of 12 leads of electrical events over a brief duration, extended ambulatory ECG (24 or 48 hours or 14 or 30 days) provides a view of only two or three leads of electrocardiographic data over an extended period of time, thereby permitting evaluation of changing dynamic cardiac electrical phenomena that are often transient and of brief duration.
Nuclear Stress Test
A nuclear stress test is a way to check how healthy your heart works when it is pumping very fast. It can show how much blood flows to your heart muscle and how well your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. The test can check your heart after a heart attack or heart surgery and can diagnose certain heart conditions or follow a known heart condition.
How do I prepare for a nuclear heart test?
If you take a Beta Blocker medication, we will ask you to refrain from taking it for 24 hours before the test. No caffeine product may be used for 12 hours before your test. Do not eat for three hours before the test, but be sure to drink plenty of water. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
What happens during a nuclear heart test?
The Medical Assistant will first do an electrocardiogram to record your heart rate and rhythm by measuring the electrical activity in your heart. Then the technician will have you lie down on a table where she will put an IV (needle) in your arm and put a radioactive substance called a “tracer,” into the IV. The tracer will travel through the blood to your heart. A camera outside your body will follow the tracer’s signals and take pictures and create images that show the blood flowing to and through your heart. You will have one set of pictures done while you rest and one set done when your heart is pumping fast.
To “stress” your heart and raise your heart rate, you will walk on a treadmill or be given a medicine to make your heart pump faster for people who are unable to use a treadmill.