Summa Cardiovascular Institute offers a number of cardiovascular diagnostic services at several convenient locations. Your cardiologist will advise you of the test(s) necessary in order to meet your customized heart care plan. Following are the cardiovascular diagnostic outpatient services available and the locations where they are offered:
Device Clinic: Monitoring of implantable cardiac devices; e.g. pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and lead extraction.
Echocardiography: A noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) test that uses sound waves to evaluate the heart’s chambers and valves. The echo sound wavers create an image on the monitor as an ultrasound probe is passed over the heart, providing a graphic record of the heart's position, motion of the walls, or internal parts such as the valves.
EKG (Electrocardiogram): A test that records the electrical activity of the heart, measuring how electrical impulses move through the heart muscle as it contracts and relaxes. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs, and then connected to the electrocardiogram machine by lead wires to measure the heart’s electrical activity. A report can be printed out for further interpretation by your doctor. The test can show abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), and can sometimes detect heart muscle damage.
Event Recorder: A small, portable, battery-powered machine used by a patient to record ECG over a long period of time. Patients may keep the recorder for several weeks. Each time symptoms are experienced, the patient presses a button on the recorder to record the ECG sample. As soon as possible, this sample is transmitted to the doctor's office for evaluation.
Exercise Stress Testing: A test that is given while a patient walks on a treadmill or pedals a stationary bike to monitor the heart during exercise. Breathing and blood pressure rates are also monitored. A stress test may be used to detect coronary artery disease, and/or to determine safe levels of exercise following a heart attack or heart surgery.
Holter: A small, portable, battery-powered ECG machine worn by a patient to record heartbeats on tape over a period of 24 to 48 hours during normal activities. At the end of the time period, the monitor is returned to the doctor's office so the tape can be read and evaluated.
Nuclear Cardiology: A radioactive tracer (radionuclide) is injected into a vein and is distributed into the heart. A gamma camera ism then used to take pictures of the heart with rest, exercise, or medication-induced stress testing. These cardiac images help to identify coronary heart disease, the severity of prior heart attacks, and the risk of future heart attacks.
Noninvasive Vascular: Imaging technologies such as ultrasound and Doppler imaging are used to diagnose circulation problems in the arms, legs, arteries of the neck, and in the abdomen that can indicate a blockage caused by plaque or a blood clot.