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Technological advances in diagnostic testing have made a significant difference in cardiology and heart health. The expert team of board-certified cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates in Torrance, San Pedro, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, California, has access to state-of-the-art cardiology diagnostic testing technologies that provide a fast and accurate assessment of your heart condition. Call our Los Angeles offices today to find out more or book an appointment online.
Cardiology diagnostic testing involves carrying out procedures that can help identify what’s causing your symptoms and the extent of the problem.
One of the most widely used cardiology tests is electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). This test might be familiar to you as it’s the one where you have electrodes stuck onto your body to record the electrical activity in your heart.
Your cardiologist can see the ECG reading on a monitor that shows the timing of each electrical phase as well as how long it lasts. An ECG can tell your cardiologist whether you’ve had a heart attack or might be heading toward one. It also monitors any changes in your heart’s rhythm.
You might need to undergo a stress test, which involves using ECG to monitor your heart activity when you’re exercising. The thallium stress test (MPI or MUGA) involves having an injection of a radioactive substance into your bloodstream at the peak of your exercise session. This enables a special gamma camera to take pictures of your heart muscle.
A portable ECG machine is available for longer-term monitoring. This is called ambulatory electrocardiography or Holter monitoring. Ambulatory ECG is useful for recording your heart’s activity as you carry out your normal daily routine.
You wear the portable Holter monitor for several days, sometimes weeks, as it records all your heart’s activity over that time. It can be useful for picking up information when your symptoms aren’t present all the time.
There are many other kinds of cardiology diagnostic tests you might need, depending on your symptoms. If your cardiologist wants to see if you have an enlarged heart or if you have fluid in your lungs after a heart attack, they might order a chest X-ray.
An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create images of the size and structure of your heart and the way it moves. It’s useful for picking up abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Computer imaging or tomography has several different forms, including CT and PET scans, MRI, and specialized cardiology tomography. These tests all use computer-aided technology to produce highly detailed images of the inside of your heart.
Tomography has many uses, including evaluating aortic disease, masses in the heart, and pericardial disease.
Blood tests are minimally invasive and are often used to help diagnose cardiac problems.
A slightly more invasive procedure is cardiac catheterization, which uses a slim tube that your cardiologist threads up through a vein into your heart. An injection of dye shows problems like atherosclerosis on X-ray.
COR Healthcare Medical Associates has access to state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies that can speed up diagnosis and aid timely treatment of heart problems. If you’re concerned about your heart health, call today or book an appointment online.