At King’s our non-invasive cardiology specialists focus on the prevention and management of heart problems. There are a number of Common Heart & Blood Vessel Conditions that could indicate you have or are at risk of heart disease. In order to determine the type of condition and appropriate course of treatment, we may perform several non-invasive external tests.
Non-invasive cardiology combines medication and lifestyle changes, to help significantly reduce the chances of suffering more serious cardiac and blood vessel diseases in the future. Our non-invasive cardiology tests include:
- 2D Echocardiogram
- Stress echocardiogram
- Exercise treadmill test
- Dobutamine stress echo
- Holter monitor,
- Remote heart monitor
- Ambulatory blood pressure monitor
- Tilt table test.
- Pacemaker interrogation/Programming
- CT Coronary Angiogram (Cardiac CT)
- Cardiac MRI
More information on each of these tests is described below.
Echocardiograms use sound waves to produce images of your heart so your doctor can view your heart beating and pumping blood. The images from the echocardiogram can be used to determine certain types of heart disease. You may have several types of echocardiograms.
A stress echocardiogram is used to evaluate coronary artery problems, as their symptoms may only be visible during physical activity. An ultrasound image of your heart will be taken before and after you walk on a treadmill.
Treadmill test (stress test)
Used to determine how well your heart works. During the test you will gradually be required to work harder, causing your heart to pump more blood as your body craved more oxygen. This simple test can help determine if the oxygen levels from the arteries that supply the heart are lower than they should be.
Dobutamine stress echo
A dobutamine stress echo test involves using a medicine ‘dobutamine’ to stimulate the heart in a similar way that exercise does. The test is used to analyse heart and valve function when you are unable to complete a treadmill test, or exercise on a stationary cycle.
This is a small wearable device that records your heart rhythm. You may be asked to wear a Holter monitor for 1 or 2 days. The test will help determine if you have an irregular heartbeat.
Remote heart monitor
Remote heart monitoring (also called remote cardiac monitoring) is a way to send heart activity information from a patients implantable rhythm management device (such as a pace maker) directly to a doctors office, allowing them to review heart activity and device performance without the patient needing to be present.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitor
This is a small device you wear on a belt for 24 hours to record your blood pressure every 15-30 minutes. It’s normally used if you have high blood pressure (hypertension) to help determine if your blood pressure treatment is working.
Tilt table test
During a tilt table test a patient lies on a table which pivots between being horizontal and vertical depending on the stage of the test. This test is used to analyse the cause of unexplained fainting. Specifically it looks at whether unexplained episodes of dizziness or fainting are related to blood pressure.
This is the process by which your doctor adjusts your pacemaker. In the immediate post implementation period and at regular follow ups, your Dr with analyse and optimise (if needed) your pacemaker through it’s life cycle.
CT Coronary Angiogram (Cardiac CT)
A Computerized Tomography (CT) Coronary Angiogram is an imaging test that looks at the arteries that supply blood to your heart. Primarily it is used to look for narrowed or blocked arteries.
A Cardiac MRI helps determine the extent of cardiac and pulmonary valve disease by providing still or dynamic images of how the blood is throwing through the heart. A contrast dye, injected into a vein in your arm maybe used to highlight your heart and blood vessels.