The Cardiology Department of the Harden Memorial Heart Program performs thousands of cardiac diagnostic studies each year, using both portable and department-based diagnostic technologies. Cardiology studies are a team effort, each type of study involving specific medical professionals including cardiologists, nurses, technologists and radiologists. Information from these studies help cardiologists diagnose a patient's condition and recommend the most effective course of treatment.
Some of the current studies performed by the Cardiology Department include:
EKG (Electrocardiogram) - These studies record the changes of electrical potential occurring during the heartbeat and produce vital information for diagnosing abnormalities. Studies include Pediatric EKG, Signal-Averaged EKG, Routine Treadmill EKG, and Holter Monitor Studies.
Echocardiography (Echocardiogram) - Utilizing sound waves, these studies produce "moving pictures" of the heart. The newest technology allows us to make two-dimensional images. The types of echo studies we conduct include:
- Pulsed Wave, Continuous Wave and Color Flow Doppler
- Transesophageal Echo: Biplane and Multiplane
- Exercise Stress Echo
- Doubtamine Stress Echo (Pharmacological Stress Echo)
Tilt Table Testing - A study designed to understand fainting episodes.
Stress Tests - These tests show us how a patient's heart responds to an increased heart rate. Types of stress tests include:
- Exercise Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test - A radioactive isotope that illuminates the vessels is injected and the patient walks on a treadmill to achieve a target heart rate. Scans taken before and after show changes in the heart's activity.
- Dobutamine Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test and Persantine Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test - In this test, drugs, rather than a treadmill, are used to achieve increased heart rate.