Diagnostic Testing

Accredited Ultrasound and Nuclear Imaging:

San Diego Cardiac Center Medical Group, Inc. has been awarded accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories and the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Laboratories. We are pleased to be able to offer our patients a variety of cardiac testing including:

EKG-Electrocardiogram – Electrodes with a sticky back are attached to your chest. Wires connect to an EKG machine which will record your heart’s electrical activity or heartbeats. The purpose of this test to to detect any irregular heartbeats or possible past cardiac events. This is a quick test and only takes a few minutes.

Exercise Stress Test – This test measures your heart’s response to physical stress from brisk walking or jogging on the treadmill.

CPX-Cardiopulmonary Stress Testing – This test measures your heart and respiratory response to physical stress from brisk walking or jogging on the treadmill.

SPECT Imaging or Myocardial Perfusion Imaging – This 3-hour test involves an injection of a small amount of harmless, radioactive substance (Myoview), which circulates in the bloodstream and shows if your heart muscle is receiving an adequate blood supply. The radioactive material connects to blood cells, so wherever the blood cells travel, they leave a small trail of radioactive susbstance, which is hotographed and detected with a special camera. This test involves a small amount of exercise or simulated exercise through the injection of a drug called LexiScan.

Ultrasound Tests – The following tests utilize a machine which uses sound waves to create digital images. A hand-held device and a gel-like substance are applied to the skin to obtain the images.

•Echocardiogram – This test creates a digital image of your heart through the use of ultrasound. The image of the heart helps the doctors evaluate how well the heart valves and heart muscles are working.
•Stress Echocardiogram – This test is the same as an echocardiogram except that an image of the heart at rest is then compared to an image of the heart obtained after you exercise on the treadmill or exercise is simulated for a short amount of time. This test is used for patients that have electrocardiogram changes or a-typical chest pain.
•Carotid Ultrasound – This test creates a digital image of the blood flow and internal condition of your carotid arteries.
•Lower Extremity Venous Ultrasound – This test creates a digital image of the veins in your legs to look at blood flow and the internal condition of your veins. It is often used if a blood clot or reduced blood flow is suspected.
•Lower Extremity Arterial Ultrasound – This test created a digital image of the arteries in your legs to look at blood flow and the internal condition of your arteries. Blood pressures are also obtained from the arms and ankles to calculate the ankle-brachial index(ABI) to determine if blood flow in the legs is adequate.

Holter Monitor – A Medical Assistant will attach electrodes with a sticky back on your chest and torso. Shaving the chest may be necessary to obtain a good connection. These electrodes are connected by wires to a small device which will record your heart’s electrical activity for 24 to 48 hours. You will need to return to our office the following day for removal of the device. This test is used to detect irregular heartbeats that are not captured through an EKG.

Event Recorders – Several options are available, ranging from devices that are worn for 7 to 14 days or devices that are worn for 30 days. If your doctor orders this test, you will be given instructions specific to the device ordered. This test is used to capture irregular heartbeats that occur infrequently.

HOSPITAL TESTING/Procedures:

Angiogram – An x-ray test utilizing special dye which takes pictures of the blood flow in an artery or a vein. During an angiogram, a thin tube called a catheter is placed into a blood vessel in the groin and is guided to the area to be studied. An iodine dye is injected into the vessel to enable a better view on the x-ray.

Electrophysiology Mapping – An EP study is a test to see if there is a problem with your heart rhythm and to isolate the location of the problem. In this test, one or more thin tubes called catheters, are placed into a blood vessel in the groin and are guided to the area to be studied. At the tips of the catheters are electrodes or small pieces of metal that conduct electricity. The electrodes collect information about your heart’s electrical activity. This information helps the doctor determine if there is a heart rhythm problem and its location.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) – This is an ultrasound of the heart that is acquired by passing a probe down the esophagus. A TEE usually created clearer images of the heart than a regular transthoracic ultrasound because the probe is located closr to the heart and the lungs and bones of the chest do not interfere with the sound waves produced by the probe.

Tilt Table Testing – This test is used to help find the cause of fainting spells. The test involves lying quietly on a bed and being tilted at different angles (30 to 60 degrees) for a period of time while various machines monitor your blood pressure, oxygen levels and heart beat.

Implantable Loop Recorders – An event monitor is implanted under the skin to capture information about irregular heartbeats that occur infrequently.