Noninvasive cardiology services
Some patients may experience symptoms, but no pain, requiring tests to help diagnose heart problems. A physician or cardiologist may recommend some or all of the following tests. An EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram), used to record the heart's electrical activity, is usually one of the first recommended. A normal EKG does not necessarily mean the heart and coronary arteries are normal, and therefore further testing may be needed.
An echocardiogram detects abnormalities of the heart valves, heart muscle and the fluid-filled sac surrounding the heart. Patients may also undergo holter monitoring, during which heart activity is monitored for 24 hours while normal activities take place. This can help reveal abnormal heart rhythms which can result in symptoms such as dizziness, fainting and palpitations. Stress tests monitor the condition of a patient's heart at rest, during exercise and at its peak and are often used by physicians to determine the safety of an exercise program. Stress tests can also reveal blockages in the heart arteries.