External procedures to diagnose and treat
Understanding the source of your cardiac symptoms is one of the first steps in designing a treatment plan for your heart condition. At Placentia-Linda Hospital, we offer a range of screenings and tests to help reach that diagnosis. Among them are:
DOPPLER (ARTERIAL VASCULAR STUDY)
An arterial vascular study of the lower extremity typically involves inflating blood pressure cuffs on the legs while recording the pulse sounds through a Doppler transducer.
An echocardiogram is non-invasive and assesses the heart's function and structures. A transducer (like a microphone) is placed on the chest at certain locations and angles. The sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the heart tissues and bounce or "echo" off the heart structures. This allows moving images of the heart walls and valves to be created.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test in which electrodes on the chest are used to monitor and record the electrical activity of the heart.
A holter monitor records the heart’s rhythm. It is a small device that is usually worn for one to three days and continuously records the heart’s beating.
STRESS / NUCLEAR TESTING
A stress test measures blood flow to the heart at rest and during stress on the heart during exercise. A nuclear stress test is used to diagnose heart problems or to determine treatment if a heart condition has already been diagnosed. In both tests, electrodes are attached to the chest, legs and arms and are then are connected by wires to an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) machine. The electrocardiogram records the electrical signals from the heartbeats. During a nuclear stress test, a dye is injected into the bloodstream and travels to your heart. A special scanner is then used to create images of the heart muscle to detect areas of inadequate blood flow.
THALLIUM AND DOBUTAMINE
Thallium and dobutamine are two medications that are used to facilitate cardiac testing. Thallium is a radioactive substance that travels through the vessels and helps make the path the blood has traveled visible while dobutamine chemically increases the heart rate for those who are unable to walk on a treadmill.
Let Placentia-Linda connect you with a physician. Call (888) 573-2462 or use our Find a Physician tool to be connected to a heart care specialist who can help you. You can also read more about heart diseases and conditions in our Health Library.