Gottlieb's Cardiology team provides diagnostic testing for patients under our care. All exams listed below are interpreted by our board-certified cardiologists.
Cardiology technicians perform the following diagnostic tests:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) - Used to diagnose heart disease, this test shows the electrical activity of the heart by applying ten electrodes to different areas of the patient's chest. The electrical activity is then transmitted to a machine, which prints out a report to be analyzed by a cardiologist. No prior preparation is needed for this exam.
- Echocardiogram (Echo) - An echocardiogram is an ultrasound-type test that produces a picture of the heart so doctors can determine whether the heart and its valves are working properly. No prior preparation is needed for this exam.
- Stress Echo - A more specialized test that checks a patient's blood flow and the functions of the heart, it is usually administered to patients with irregular heartbeats or chest pains. The heart is first imaged with ultrasound. Next, the patient exercises on the treadmill and immediately after the exercise, more images of the heart are taken. The cardiologist will compare the before and after images. We recommend a light breakfast before this exam.
- Dobutamine Stress Echo - Similar to a stress echo test (see above), this exam uses medicine to raise the heart rate instead of exercise. A specialized nurse will start an IV and the technicians will take images of the heart with ultrasound as the heart rate is increasing. The cardiologist will compare the images before and after the medicine is given. We recommend a light breakfast before this exam.
- Stress Thallium - This test is similar to the stress echo test (see above) and can be done with the treadmill for exercise or medicine depending on the patient. The patient is injected with a radioactive dye to illuminate the heart vessels (instead of ultrasound) so the doctor can assess for blockages. A cardiologist will interpret this exam. We recommend a light breakfast before this exam. Total test time is about three hours.
- Signal Averaging EKG - This is a more sophisticated EKG that is administered to patients with ventricular problems (the lower two chambers of the heart). It is similar to an EKG, but it averages the ventricular heartbeats. The patient must lie still for about five minutes. No prior preparation is needed for this exam.
- Holter Monitor - This is a device about the size of a personal radio that is worn by the patient for 24 to 72 hours. It records the heartbeat onto a tiny cassette. The patient returns the cassette to Cardiology where it is scanned by the computer and then read by a cardiologist. The patient also keeps a record of symptoms they experience while wearing the monitor. No prior preparation is needed for this exam but the monitor must be removed before bathing or showering.
- Cardiac Event Monitor - Like the Holter monitor, this device records the patient's heartbeat. However, this device is worn for 30 days. There is a tiny button that may be pushed when the patient is experiencing symptoms, and the cassette stores heart activity for 30 seconds prior to symptoms and 60 seconds following. This test is recommended for patients who have symptoms less frequently. No prior preparation is needed for this exam.