Ultrasounds

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram uses sound waves called ultrasound to look at the size, shape, and motion of the heart. The test shows:

  • Four chambers of the heart
  • Heart valves and the walls of the heart
  • Blood vessels entering and leaving the heart
  • Pericardium—the sac that surrounds the heart

  • An echocardiogram may be used to:

  • Evaluate a heart murmur
  • Diagnose valve conditions
  • Find changes in the heart's structure
  • Assess motion of the chamber walls and damage to the heart muscle after a heart attack
  • Assess how different parts of the heart work in people with chronic heart disease
  • Determine if fluid is collecting around the heart
  • Identify growths in the heart
  • Assess and monitor birth defects
  • Test blood flow through the heart
  • Assess heart or major blood vessel damage caused by trauma
  • Test heart function and diagnose heart and lung problems in those who are very ill
  • Assess chest pain
  • Look for blood clots within heart chambers

  • Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound

    An ultrasound of the abdominal aorta is a non-invasive, painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image the "aorta," the main blood vessel leading away from the heart. When the walls of the abdominal aorta become weak, they may balloon outward. If the aorta reaches over 3 centimeters in diameter, it is then called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). As the aneurysm gets larger, the risk of rupture increases.

    Ultrasound imaging of the aorta is useful for measuring its size to screen for AAA. Screening is particularly recommended for men over the age of 60 who have ever smoked and for anyone with a family history of AAA. In addition to screening, ultrasound is also a useful tool after the diagnosis of AAA to monitor its size on a regular basis to see if it needs to be repaired.

    LEA (Lower Extremity Arterial Doppler)

    This study shows blocked or reduced blood flow through the major arteries of your legs in the event of:

  • Numbness and tingling sensations in your feet and legs
  • A feeling of fatigue and heaviness in your legs
  • To discover if you may have a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome

  • The Arterial Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the blood flow from your heart to the lower extremities (legs), which can be seen on a computer screen.

    Carotid Ultrasound

    Carotid ultrasound is a test that shows the carotid arteries (vessels in the neck that provide blood flow to the brain), as well as how much blood flows and how fast it travels through them. Ultrasound waves are used to make an image of the arteries.


    Blood Tests

    INR Protime

    The prothrombin time (PT) test, also called an INR test, checks how long it takes your blood to clot. Your doctor may use the test to check for bleeding problems or to see how well your medicine to prevent blood clots is working. If you take medicines to prevent blood clots, you may have this test regularly.

    The INR test is done in office via finger-stick with results available immediately.

    Corus® CAD

    Provides information about the likelihood of obstructive Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) at the time your blood is drawn and can help your doctor understand what may be causing your symptoms. Corus® CAD is a blood test that:

  • Integrates your age, sex, and gene expression to calculate a score. The higher the score, the higher the likelihood of having a significant narrowing or blockage in your heart arteries.
  • Takes into account cardiovascular differences between men and women in its assessment.
  • Provides your doctor with a score indicating the likelihood that you have a significant narrowing or blockage in your heart arteries.
  • Is simple to administer, safe, and convenient, requiring only a routine blood draw procedure.
  • Results are available in 72 hours.
  • Electrocardiograms (EKG)

    An EKG is an important part of the initial evaluation of a patient who is suspected to have a heart related problem. Small sticky electrodes are applied to the patient's chest, arms and legs and wires are used to connect the patient to an EKG machine. You will be asked to remain very still while a nurse or technician records the EKG. The electrical activity created by the patient's heart is processed by the EKG machine and then printed on a special graph paper. This is then interpreted by your physician. It takes a few minutes to apply the EKG electrodes, and one minute to make the actual recording.

    Stress Testing

    Nuclear Stress Testing

    Nuclear stress testing allows your doctor to see digital images of how blood flows through your heart. Measuring flow while at rest and while moving or exercising, the images can show points where blood flow is lower or where the heart muscle may be damaged. In some cases your doctor may use IV medications to simulate physical activity to increase demand on the heart or have you walk on a treadmill. Your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm will be monitored throughout the exam.

    Standard Treadmills

    A treadmill stress test evaluates how the heart works during exercise. It is also referred to as an exercise ECG. A treadmill stress test may reveal heart problems not apparent when you are at rest, since the heart pumps faster during physical activity.

    Heart Monitors (Holters and Event Monitors)

    A Holter or event monitor records the heart’s rhythm to diagnose abnormal rhythms of the heart. The device, which looks like a small box or pack is attached to leads on the chest and worn for a period of time to record the heart's rhythm.

    Procedures Done In The Hospital

    TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram)

    Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a test that produces pictures of your heart. TEE uses high-frequency ultrasound waves to make detailed pictures of your heart and the arteries that lead to and from it. Unlike a standard echocardiogram, the echo transducer that produces the sound waves for TEE is attached to a thin tube that passes through your mouth, down your throat and into your esophagus. Because the esophagus is so close to the upper chambers of the heart, very clear images of those heart structures and valves can be obtained.

  • TEE is a test that uses sound waves to make pictures of your heart’s muscle and chambers, valves and outer lining (pericardium), as well as the blood vessels that connect to your heart.
  • Doctors often use TEE when they need more detail than a standard echocardiogram can give them.
  • The sound waves sent to your heart by the probe in your esophagus are translated into pictures on a video screen.
  • After this test, you may have a mild sore throat for a day or two.

  • Angiograms

    An X-ray test that uses a special dye and camera (fluoroscopy) to take pictures of the blood flow in an artery or a vein. It can be used to look at the arteries or veins in the head, arms, legs, chest, back, or belly.

    LINQ™ Loop Recorders

    The LINQ™ Insertable Cardiac Monitoring System is ideal for patients experiencing infrequent symptoms that require long-term monitoring or ongoing management. It is a small device implanted via a minimally invasive simplified procedure that provides continuous wireless transmission of data to your physician.

    Pacemaker Implants

    Implanted by a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia. The wires are placed through a blood vessel beneath the collar bone and positioned in the heart under x-ray. The wires are then connected to the pacemaker, which is placed beneath the skin just below the collar bone.

    Pacemaker Generator Change

    The remaining lifespan of a pacemaker is determined during visits to the Pacemaker Clinic. The battery in a pacemaker does not stop suddenly but rather loses its charge slowly, which lets the cardiologist plan the replacement date.

    Cardioversion

    Cardioversion is a medical procedure done to restore a normal heart rhythm for people who have certain types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). It is most often done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest.