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Cardiac Tests

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. It’s important to find heart disease early, when it’s easier to treat. Cardiac tests can help identify heart diseases or other issues that can lead to heart diseases.

Procedure

There are several different types of heart health tests. Based on your symptoms, risk factors, and medical history, your doctor will decide which test(s) you need:
• CT Scan: For a cardiac CT scan, you will lie on a table inside a donut-shaped machine. An x-ray inside the machine rotates around your body and collects images of your heart and chest.
• Catheterization: For the procedure, your doctor will put a catheter into a vein in your leg or arm. Aided by x-ray images, your doctor guides the catheter through that artery until it reaches your heart, where dye can be injected to see the blood flow through your heart, blood vessels, and valves to check for abnormalities.
• Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram shows detailed images of your heart’s structure and function. The test involves a chest ultrasound which helps evaluate the pumping of the heart.
• Electrocardiogram (EKG): An EKG detects and records your heart’s electrical activity. For the test, electrodes will be attached to the skin on your chest, arms, and legs. Wires connect the electrodes to a machine that records your heart’s electrical activity.
• Stress Test: A stress test focuses on how your heart works during physical stress. For the test, you exercise (or are given medicine if you are unable to exercise) to make your heart work hard and beat fast. While this is happening, an EKG is performed and your blood pressure is monitored.

Benefits

Catching a heart disease in its early stages makes it easier to treat. Most cardiac tests are painless and play a huge part in preventative medicine, especially with patients with a family history of heart disease or other risk factors.

FAQs

Most cardiac tests are painless. The most pain you may feel may be the insertion of a catheter for a cardiac catheterization, or the pinch from a needle for a blood test.