Understanding Cardiac Diagnostic Tests
Heart disease is not a singular problem. To determine the specific nature of a patient’s condition, a heart doctor near Phoenix must perform cardiac diagnostic tests. These procedures typically entail noninvasive steps to identify heart disease symptoms. The use of these tests is crucial to the health of patients, as only with a precise diagnosis can cardiologists prescribe effective treatment.
Pictures of the heart can provide a wealth of information about it. Therefore, one of the first tests that a heart doctor might order is an echocardiogram . This procedure generates real-time images of the heart that cardiologists can evaluate to determine if it has sound structure and is working correctly. An echocardiogram generates these images with the use of sound waves that are emitted from a device placed over the patient’s chest.
If a heart doctor suspects that a patient has a heart arrhythmia, he might perform an electrocardiogram. As with an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram, or EKG, does not use any invasive measures. Instead, a heart doctor places several adhesive pads on the chest of the patient. These pads can transmit information about the regularity of heart impulses.
Physical activity forces the heart to work harder to move blood to the rest of the body as its oxygen needs increase. As a result, some heart conditions can be more easily detected when the heart is under stress. To see how the heart responds to exertion, a heart doctor may have a patient undergo a stress test. While connected to an electrocardiogram machine, a patient may be asked to ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill. As the demands on the heart increase, cardiologists can analyze how the heart reacts, which can aid in their diagnoses.
Do you have questions about an upcoming diagnostic test? Call Cardiac Solutions at (623) 876-8816. Our heart doctors and support staff can help you understand the steps of each procedure and the reasons why they may be used in your diagnosis and treatment.