The Heart and Vascular Center offers a complete range of diagnostic procedures to help detect the presence of heart disease or other heart and vascular conditions.
Routine Exercise Stress Test
Patients are connected to a heart monitor and a blood pressure cuff and are asked to walk on a treadmill beginning at an easy level. As the test progresses, the intensity will increase according to the patient’s ability to exercise.
Exercise Cardiolite (Sestamibi) Stress Test
Patients are given the chemical Cardiolite through an IV. This chemical allows pictures of the heart to be taken. The patient is then hooked to a heart monitor and blood pressure cuff and asked to walk on a treadmill. A second dose of Cardiolite is given, followed by a second heart scan.
Lexiscan (Regadenoson) and Persantine (Dipryidamole) Cardiolite (Sestamibi) Stress Tests
Just like the Exercise Cardiolite Stress Test, patients are given a dose of Cardiolite followed by a scan of the heart. Afterward, the patient is given a medicine (either Lexiscan or Persantine) through an IV, which dilates the blood vessels to the heart muscle. After performing some light exercises, the patient is given a second dose of Cardiolite, and is monitored for any side effects. A final heart scan is completed.
Dobutamine Cardiolite (Sestamibi) Stress Test
Patients are given the chemical Cardiolite through an IV, followed by a scan of the heart. After being connected to a heart monitor and blood pressure cuff, Dobutamine, which increases the heart rate, is given in increasing doses over a 20 minute period. Afterward, a second dose of Cardiolite is given, followed by a second heart scan.
By the use of special machines and a device called a probe (somewhat like a microphone), the part of the body being examined is exposed to high-frequency sound waves that produce a picture of the inside of the body. Moving pictures and computerized measurements provide the interpreting physician with the information needed to make a decision about whether a problem is present in that area, and if so, how significant the problem may be.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound study of the heart. A technologist moves a handheld transducer around on the chest to obtain the best images of the heart.
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
A TEE is often used when a standard echo cannot get good images. Patients with heart valve replacements or infections on the heart valves, clots within the heart, tumors or masses of the heart and tears of the aorta often receive TEEs. During a TEE exam, a scope with a transducer on the tip is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. Before the tube is inserted, a topical numbing medication is applied to the back of the throat, and medication to reduce anxiety is given through an IV.
Exercise Stress Echocardiogram
An exercise stress echocardiogram is a combination study that includes an exercise stress test and an echocardiogram. Patients are connected to a heart monitor and a blood pressure cuff while a limited ultrasound of the heart is performed. Patients then walk on a treadmill at an easy intensity level; as the test progresses, the intensity will increase slowly. A second ultrasound of the heart will be taken immediately after completing the exercise.
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
A dobutamine stress echocardiogram is a combination study that includes an echocardiogram and a stress test. Patients are given doubutamine, which makes the heart beat faster and stronger, instead of walking on a treadmill. Ultrasound images of the heart will be taken during after receiving the medicine.
Arterial Segmental Exam
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can cause pain with walking, pain with rest and in the most severe cases, can result in gangrene and limb loss. In this test, blood pressure is measured by placing multiple blood pressure cuffs on the leg and listening with a hand held Doppler device. A significant decrease in the lower leg pressures can suggest a blockage in the arteries. The patient may be asked to do mild exercise, such as heel toe raises.
Arterial Duplex Exam
This ultrasound exam allows the examiner to visualize arterial circulation in the leg and take blood flow measurements. Plaque or blockages in an artery or a bypass graft can be easily detected and evaluated.
Carotid Duplex Exam
This ultrasound exam allows the sonographer to evaluate the carotid arteries for plaque build-up and obstruction of blood flow.
Renal Artery Duplex
This ultrasound exam evaluates the arteries that supply blood to the kidney. A blockage in a renal artery can cause high blood pressure and other kidney problems.
Venous Incompetence Exam
Recently approved for reimbursement by Medicare, this ultrasound exam evaluates the venous blood flow and valve function in the legs. Venous incompetence can cause uncomfortable leg swelling and large, unsightly varicose veins.
When a patient needs a dialysis or bypass graft created, this exam allows the surgeon to evaluate the suitability of the vein before the surgery. This procedure can prevent the patient from having an unnecessary surgery if the vein is not adequate for use in the grafting procedure.