Cardiographics - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cardiographics

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) - a device used to record on graph paper the electrical activity of the heart. A computer draws the picture from information supplied by the electrodes.

Echocardiogram (echo) - a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During an echocardiogram test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) that come from a hand-held wand placed on your chest, is used to provide pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and help the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves.

Exercise Tolerance Test (Stress Test) - used to provide information about how the heart responds to stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. If you are unable to exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle, medicines (Dobutamine, Persantine) are used to stimulate your heart and make it "think" it is exercising.

Exercise Stress Echocardiogram - used to provide information about how the heart responds to stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. Immediately following exercise, an echocardiogram is performed to evaluate heart and valve functions. If you are unable to exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle, medicines (Dobutamine, Persantine) are used to stimulate your heart and make it "think" it is exercising.

Nuclear Exercise Tolerance Test (Cardiolite, Adenosine) - used to provide information about how the heart responds to stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. A radioactive isotope is injected into the bloodstream during peak exercise, a scan is performed immediately after exercise and then again in about three hours. This provides the physician with significantly more information than an Exercise Tolerance Test. If you are unable to exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle, medicines (Dobutamine, Persantine) are used to stimulate your heart and make it "think" it is exercising.

Tilt Table Test - used to determine the cause of fainting spells. The test involves being tilted, always with the head-up, at different angles for a period of time. Heart rhythm, blood pressure and other symptoms are closely monitored and evaluated with changes in position.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) - an ultrasound transducer (which produces high frequency sound waves) provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the physician evaluate the pumping action of the heart. The ultrasound transducer is positioned on an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter). The endoscope is placed into your mouth and passed into your esophagus (the "food pipe" leading from your mouth into your stomach) to provide a close look at your heart's valves and chambers without interference from the ribs or lungs.

Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) - an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views of the body. Cardiac CT uses the advanced CT technology with intravenous (IV) contrast (dye) to visualize your cardiac anatomy, coronary circulation and great vessels.

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