Cardiac investigations

After taking a history and examining the patient, cardiologists get further information about the structure and function of the heart with a variety of investigations. These assess the heart muscle, heart valves and the electrical system of the heart. By themselves, these investigations do not provide a diagnosis. This is reached when the cardiologist puts together the findings of a history, an examination and the results of investigations.

ECG, ECG monitoring and

exercise tests

These are routine investigations for any patient with a suspected cardiac condition. They provide information about the heart by analysis of electrical function. 

 

Implantable loop recorder

This is a small electronic device that can be iserted under the skin to provide continuous monitoring of the heart rhythm over prolonged periods (up to 3 years).

 

Cardiac CT and calcium score

(cardiac computed tomography)

This X-ray test provides detailed images of the coronary arteries. It can also be used to assess the amount of calcium deposition in the coronary arteries, to detect furring of the arteries.

 

Echocardiography

Echocardiography is an ultrasound examination of the heart. It is a routine for patients with suspected cardiac conditions. It provides information on the function of the heart muscle and heart valves.

 

Cardiac MRI

(cardiac magnetic resonance scan)

This is non-invasive test which does not involve radiation exposure. It provides very detailed pictures of the heart and can be used to identify the cause of cardiomyopathies and heart failure.

 

Angiography

This catheter investigation is the best for imaging the coronary arteries, particularly if an angioplasty or bypass operation is being considered.

 

Nuclear imaging involves the use of very weak radioactive substances to image the heart. Usually, it is used in the investigation of angina and heart attacks.

 

Nuclear imaging involves the use of very weak radioactive substances to image the heart. Usually, it is used in the investigation of angina and heart attacks.

 

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Disclaimer: This website is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. All reasonable care has been taken in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. You must consult a doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.