Imaging the Heart
There are various imaging tests available to help diagnose and treat heart conditions, including:
An echocardiogram is a diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to take moving pictures of your heart as it contracts in real time. With an echocardiogram, your doctor can learn about the size, shape and movement of your heart muscle. An echocardiogram can also show how the heart valves are working and how blood flows through your heart, giving your doctor valuable information about your arteries.
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) uses sound waves bounced off the heart to create a moving picture of the heart and blood vessels. A long, flexible tube about the width of a little finger is inserted into your mouth, then into the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach, directly behind the heart.
Holter and Event Monitors
The Holter monitor is a type of electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) used to monitor the ECG tracing continuously for a period of 24 hours or longer. An ECG is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart.
Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted and printed out for the physician's information and further interpretation.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test that records the electrical impulses of the heart. It assesses heart rhythm, chamber size and muscle thickness.
A cardiac loop recorder is a small insertable device that continuously monitors your heart’s electrical activity and records it either automatically or when you use a hand-held Patient Assistant. It is also referred to as an insertable loop recorder (ILR).