Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic Tests

Physicians at the University of Maryland Heart Center use a wide variety of diagnostic tests to determine if you have heart disease and to see how your disease is progressing.

Here's a list of some of the diagnostic tests and evaluations available at the Heart Center:

  • Angiography - An X-ray that uses dye injected into the coronary arteries so that blood circulation canPhoto of a graph be studied.
  • Cardiac Catheterization - A diagnostic procedure in which a tiny, hollow tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery in the leg or arm in order to determine the location and severity of blockages.
  • Coronary Calcium Scoring/Heart Scan - A non-invasive test performed on a computed tomography (CT) machine that can help evaluate your risk of heart disease in less than an hour.
  • Echocardiography - This test uses sound waves to produce a study of the motion of the heart's chambers and valves.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) - A routine test that records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), and enlargement or damage to the heart muscle. 
  • Electrophysiology Studies - A test in which insulated electric catheters are placed inside the heart to study and treat disorders involving the heart's electrical system.
  • Exercise Stress Tests (Treadmill Tests) - A test that is given while the patients walk on a treadmill to see if exercise brings on changes to the ECG.
  • Holter Monitor - A small, portable, battery-powered ECG machine worn by a patient to record ECGs on tape over a period of 24-48 hours. At the end of the time period, the monitor is returned to the doctor's office so the tape can be read and evaluated.
  • Intravascular Coronary Ultrasound (IVUS) - A combination of echocardiography and a cardiac catheterization, IVUS uses sound waves to produce an image of the coronary arteries and to see their condition. The sound waves are sent through a catheter, which is threaded through an artery and into your heart. This test lets doctors look inside your blood vessels. IVUS is rarely done alone or as a strictly diagnostic procedure. Instead, it is usually done at the same time that a transcatheter intervention like angioplasty is being performed.
  • Rubidium PET/CT Scanning - This noninvasive imaging technology helps doctors make a precise diagnosis of heart disease, as it allows doctors to obtain information about the heart's anatomy and function in the same setting.
  • Tilt Table Test - A test performed while the patient is connected to ECG and blood pressure monitors and strapped to a table that tilts. This test is to determine if the patient is prone to sudden drops in blood pressure or slow pulse rates.
  • Transradial Cardiac Catheterization - Offers a less invasive, lower-risk option because the procedure is performed through the wrist rather than the groin.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography - Like standard echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography uses sound waves to produce an image of the heart. But unlike standard echocardiography, the sound waves are sent through a tube-like device that is put in the mouth and passed down the throat into the esophagus.

Please call if you would like to make an appointment or talk to someone about our services. Patients dial 1-866-408-6885, physicians dial 410-328-6622 or 1-800-318-1019.

This page was last updated: October 8, 2014

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