One type of echocardiogram our providers may perform is a bubble echocardiogram. During this procedure, a saltwater substance with air bubbles will be injected into the patient’s veins through an IV. This examination is used to test if any holes exist in the patient’s heart that are reducing blood flow and causing neurological symptoms.
How your body reacts to stress and an increased heart rate may be the reason behind some of your symptoms, including chest pain. To test this, our cardiologists can also perform a stress echocardiogram that examines your heart while at rest and while you are active.
Exercise Treadmill Test
Also known as a stress EKG, the exercise treadmill test lets us check for any abnormalities in your heart rate or blood flow as you exercise, either running or walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle.
Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound
This ultrasonic test inspects the abdominal area where an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or an enlarged area of a blood vessel, may reside. An aneurysm can appear if the walls of a blood vessel are weakened, increasing the risk of a broken blood vessel. Since the aorta is the largest blood vessel transporting blood throughout a patient’s body, it’s critical to identify any possible aneurysms or irregularities in it as soon as possible.
Carotid arteries are other essential blood vessels that carry blood to the brain. During a carotid ultrasound test, our providers will examine these arteries, looking for any plaque that may be preventing proper blood flow. If we notice anything abnormal, we may refer you to a vascular surgeon to perform an endarterectomy, or to remove the plaque buildup.
Holter Monitor (24-hour or 48-hour)
We also may monitor your heart rate for a 24- or 48-hour period using a Holter monitor. Patients may leave our center and go about their daily routines wearing the Holter monitor, then visit us again after the testing period to detach it. This test helps us identify any cardiac arrhythmia.
21-day Cardiac Event Monitor
Similarly, we can test heart rate over a longer period using a portable, 21-day cardiac event monitor. Using the data provided by this monitor, we can recommend procedures or prescribe medication to help treat the specific symptoms you have.
In cases where we do not use ultrasonic echocardiograms to diagnose a patient, our providers may perform an electrocardiogram (EKG). Using sensors attached to the patient’s body, this quick and noninvasive test measures heart rate and rhythm using the heart’s electrical activity. Holter monitors and cardiac event monitors are both types of EKGs.