Diagnostic heart screening in Gainesville, Florida
The Heart & Vascular Center at North Florida Regional Medical Center offers specialized heart imaging services to diagnose heart disease. The heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, cardiac rhythm and heart sounds all provide essential clues in determining a cardiac diagnosis.
Our diagnostic procedures help us identify occurrences inside the heart, so we can offer every patient an expert diagnosis and comprehensive treatment.
To learn more about our non-invasive diagnostic heart services, please call (352) 333-4250.
North Florida Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for our services in echocardiography and vascular testing.
Non-invasive diagnostic heart services
A wide range of specialized imaging procedures are used in the diagnosis of heart conditions and vascular disease. Our cardiac care starts with patient evaluation and diagnosis, so we can identify what is causing cardiovascular symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath.
Our heart and vascular imaging services include:
- Angiogram—Also known as an arteriogram, this imaging procedure uses X-rays and a special dye to visualize the arteries. It is a valuable tool in detecting blockages or damage in the arteries.
- Ankle brachial index (ABI)—This test is used as a screening tool for patients with symptoms of a possible blood vessel blockage in the legs. It compares the blood pressure in the ankle to the blood pressure in the arm.
- Arterial ultrasound—This type of ultrasound takes a closer look at blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the major organs and regions of the body. It can help identify blockages in the blood vessels of the neck that can lead to a cerebrovascular accident (stroke) or inadequate blood supply to the arms and legs.
- Cardiac stress test—This test is often performed on patients experiencing heart attack symptoms with normal tests and lab work. It examines the heart's response to exercise and records the heartbeat while a patient walks on a treadmill or rides a stationary bike.
- Echocardiogram—Also known as a Doppler test, this imaging exam uses ultrasound technology to create a clear image of the heart. It displays the size of the heart and the functionality of its chambers and valves.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)—This test measures the electrical activity of the heart. It registers the heart's electrical patterns and records them onto a graph.
- Heart computed tomography (CT)—This specialized CT scan is used to detect if calcium is present in the plaque or walls of the coronary arteries. It uses X-rays to measure the amount of calcium.
- Holter monitor study—This test measures the heart's electrical activity over an extended period of time, typically more than 24 hours. It is used to identify if a heart arrhythmia is present. Patients are fitted with a small device that they take away from the hospital and wear for a specified period of time.
- Nuclear stress test—This test assesses the heart's function and if there are any blockages present. It delivers a safe amount of radioactive material, called a radiotracer, to the bloodstream. A special camera scans the radiotracer as it flows through the heart. The camera takes pictures that help our doctors develop a treatment plan.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE test)—This specialized type of echocardiogram allows the doctor to view the heart from inside the esophagus. This is especially useful in identifying infection, disease or abnormalities in the heart's structure.
Outpatient heart screening
Heart imaging procedures may be performed at North Florida Regional Medical Center or our outpatient imaging center, Invision Imaging Center. Invision Imaging Center is equipped to perform computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine studies.
Patients may also receive a 16-slice volumetric CT (VCT) scan of the heart at our outpatient imaging center. This test scans the entire heart within the span of five heartbeats. It produces a 3D image and detailed view of the coronary arteries.
Preparing for a diagnostic heart exam
If you are coming to our hospital for heart imaging requested by your physician, you will receive instructions prior to your exam from your provider. Patient preparation varies depending on the type of exam you are receiving. Talk to your physician at least 24 hours prior to your exam if you have any questions about preparing for your appointment.