UT Medicine cardiologists have extensive training and expertise for treating all heart conditions. Our board-certified cardiologists are experts in using the appropriate non-invasive cardiology tests to detect, diagnose and treat heart problems.
Our cardiologists regularly consult with our electrophysiologists and interventional cardiologists to ensure every patient receives thorough evaluation and the most effective treatment.
Some of the cardiac testing we provide includes:
- Holter monitoring is a technique used to continuously record (24-48 hours) of heart activity to detect changes in the heart's rhythm. Sticky patches called electrodes are placed on your chest and connected to a portable monitor worn while you continue your regular activities (eating, sleeping, working, etc.) You will keep a diary of activities while wearing the monitor. The monitor helps to detect an arrhythmia – a heart beating too fast, too slow, or irregularly. The readings also can check whether treatments are working.
- Dobutamine stress echocardiography is an ultrasound test used if you are not able to exercise during a stress test. This test is done after you are given the drug, Dobutamine, through a vein in your arm. The drug increases your heart rate much like exercise does. Sticky patches called electrodes are put on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The heart is imaged by an ultrasound transducer, which is held against the chest in different positions. The test will show size and function of your heart at rest and at a fast heart rate.
- Exercise stress echocardiography is an ultrasound stress test combined with an exercise treadmill or bicycle exercise stress test. After you exercise and reach an appropriate heart rate, the heart is imaged by an ultrasound transducer that is held against the chest at multiple angles. The test gives information about your exercise capacity and heart muscle contraction in response to exercise. This test is able to detect if an area in the heart is not getting enough blood supply during stress.
- Echocardiography is an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the heart. Sticky patches called electrodes are put on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The heart is imaged by an ultrasound transducer, which is held against the chest in different positions. These images allow the doctor to see your heart in motion to analyze the size, shape, and how it is working.
- Exercise treadmill testing is used to test the effect of exercise on your heart. A technician will place sticky patches called electrodes on your chest. These are attached to a monitor that follows the electrical activity of your heart while you walk fast. While you exercise, the activity of your heart is measured and your blood pressure readings are taken. The test will continue until you reach a target heart rate, you are too tired, or readings show that your heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen.
- Nuclear chemical stress test (regadenosone or adenosine sestamibi) or myocardial perfusion stress test is a procedure for patients with suspected or existing coronary artery disease, who cannot exercise on a treadmill. An IV line is started to give a vasodialator drug and a nuclear radioisotope. The vasodilator drug helps to expand the coronary arteries which is similar to what happens during exercise. The radioisotope is detected by a nuclear scanner and shows which parts of the heart muscle are receiving enough oxygen. This test will help the doctor find irregular heart rhythms and show how quickly the heart recovers after exercise.
- Nuclear exercise treadmill tests are done to see how well blood flows to the heart muscle at rest and during exercise. An IV line will be started to provide a pathway for a nuclear radioisotope and take pictures of your heart before exercising on the treadmill and after you finish exercising. The nuclear radioisotope helps the doctor see images of the heart muscle. This test can show how much coronary artery blockage there is and if medical or surgical treatment is necessary.
- Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) uses sound waves bounced off your heart to create an image. With this test, a long, flexible tube about the width of a little finger is inserted into your mouth and esophagus. A tiny transducer at the tip of the probe sends and records the sound waves. This test is done to detect blood clots inside the heart; assess the heart valves; assess how artificial valves are working; detect holes between the chambers of the heart; diagnose a dissection or tear in the lining of the aorta; and, detect infections of the heart valves.
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Please call 210-450-4888 for more information or to make an appointment.