Your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse rate, cardiac rhythm and heart sounds all provide clues to potential problems. The Heart & Vascular Center at North Florida Regional is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories. We offer a variety of non-invasive diagnostic services to identify what is happening inside your body so your doctor can decide the best treatment options for you.
Cardiac Stress Test
This is performed for patients experiencing symptoms of a heart attack with normal results on other tests and lab work. It is also performed for patients not experiencing symptoms with a strong family history of heart disease. A cardiac stress test shows your heart’s response to exercise and records your heartbeat while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. A physician and cardiovascular technician guide the test, and the time for the test varies from patient to patient.
Nuclear Stress Test
Cardiac nuclear imaging tests how well the heart functions and in there are any blockages of the heart. A safe amount of radioactive matter called ‘tracer’ is delivered into the bloodstream, and a camera scans the tracer as it flows through the heart muscle and takes photographs that will help your doctor plan best treatment options.
This test measures electrical activity of the heart and is often called simply an EKG. It is a very brief test that registers the heart’s electrical patterns and records them onto a graph. It’s a first-step screening tool to check the heart. A cardiologist reads the EKG and looks at the tracings of the heart’s electrical activity. EKG results can guide your doctor in what steps need to be taken.
This diagnostic tool uses harmless sound waves to create a clear picture of the heart and is often called a Doppler test or ultrasound of the heart. It shows the size of the heart and the health of the heart’s chambers and valves. It is safe and painless and can be performed while a patient is exercising or while resting.
This test allows your doctor to record images of your heart from inside the esophagus. The images produced help your doctor identify and treat problems such as infection, disease or defects in your heart’s walls or valves. Transesophageal echocardiography, often called a TEE, usually lasts about 30 minutes but could last longer.
This test is used to look at vessels that carry blood to and from major organs of the body. Among the problems carotid ultrasound can help identify are blockages in the blood vessels of the neck that can lead to stroke. Other conditions identified by carotid ultrasound include aneurysm, dissection or deep vein thrombosis.
Ankle Brachial Index
This simple and painless test is an initial screening for patients with symptoms of possible blockages in the blood vessels of the legs. The blood pressure in the ankle is compared to the blood pressure in the arm. The test is often simply called an ABI.
Holter Monitor Study
This test measures electrical activity of the heart over a longer period of time, usually more than 24 hours and allows your doctor to look for irregular heart activity. It is a small electrocardiogram that you carry with you away from the hospital, and your doctor will review results later.
This test detects calcium present in the plaque or wall of coronary arteries and uses X-rays to measure the amount of site of calcium. Like the MRI, it can be performed at North Florida Regional Medical Center or at our outpatient imaging center, Invision Imaging. It is often called simply a CT.
If you are coming for a non-invasive diagnostic examination from outside the hospital, you will receive instructions ahead of time from your physician. What you need to do to prepare will vary based on the type of examination you are going to have. For some of the examinations, you will have minimal or no preparation required. Some examinations may require that you do not eat or drink anything prior to your appointment. Please be sure to call your physician or the Non-invasive Diagnostic Services area where you will be having your examination at least 24 hours before your appointment if you have any questions about how to prepare.
For information or referral to a cardiovascular specialist, please call Consult-A-Nurse® at (800) 611-6913.