Heart & Vascular Diagnosis & Testing
Get accurate answers fast so you can make the best choices for your health. Depend on the skilled cardiovascular specialists at Adventist HealthCare for diagnostic tests.
Cardiovascular Diagnosis & Tests
Benefit from technology to diagnose heart and vascular conditions. The type of tests you’ll have depend on your symptoms and other factors. Rely on our skilled specialists to review the results of your test and offer guidance to understand your treatment options.
Your doctor will do a physical exam to check your pulse, heart rate, heart rhythm and other vital signs. Your doctor will ask about:
- Current health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid problems
- Family medical history
- Health habits, like alcohol use, exercise, smoking and stress
- Medications or nutritional supplements you take
Blood Test for Heart Attack
If you have symptoms of a heart attack, a doctor may do a blood test. The test will check for high levels of certain enzymes in the blood that may mean your heart was damaged during a heart attack.
To check how your heart and blood vessels are working, you may have:
- Angiogram – Uses X-ray, video and a dye-filled catheter (thin, flexible tube) placed in an artery or vein to check blood flow and help find and treat narrowing or blockages
- Cardiac catheterization – Uses an X-ray and a tiny tube called a catheter to find information about your heart or blood vessels
- Chest X-ray – Creates an image of the heart, lungs, blood vessels, other organs and bones to check for internal problems
- Computed tomography (CT) scan – Uses X-rays to create cross-section images of the heart
- Echocardiogram, or echo – Uses soundwaves (ultrasound) to make a video image of the heart
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – Makes detailed images of arteries to find narrowing, swelling, blockages or other problems
- Vascular ultrasound test – Uses sound waves to make images of blood flow (circulation) or blockages in vessels outside the heart
Heart Stress Tests
A stress test measures how your heart and blood vessels respond to exercise. During the test you may walk on a treadmill, pedal a stationary bike or take a medication that simulates how exercise affects the heart. Imaging tests may happen before or after the stress test.
An arrhythmia happens when the heart doesn’t have a normal rhythm. It may beat irregularly, too fast or too slow. To diagnose an arrhythmia, you may have:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – Checks the electrical activity of your heart
- Electrophysiology (EP) study, or heart mapping – Places a tiny electrode through a flexible long, thin tube (catheter) to check the electrical paths to and from the heart and check if medication can treat a heart rhythm problem
- Holter monitoring – Uses electrodes placed on the chest to record the heart’s electrical activity over a period of time, usually a day or two
- Loop recorder – Checks the heart’s electrical activity for up to three years through a small implant under the skin of the chest
- Tilt table test – Helps find the cause of fainting