An Echocardiogram is a common test using sound waves to map out the shape and size of your heart, which allows your Cardiologist to see how well your heart pumps blood and can detect any abnormalities of the heart valves and chambers. For a transthoracic echocardiogram, your sonographer will use a cool gel on your chest.
Exercise Stress Testing
Exercise stress testing is used to diagnose coronary artery disease and the rhythm disturbances. It helps the doctor to find how well your heart responds to physical activity. It is also used to test the effectiveness of the treatment prescribed by a cardiologist. When the person is at rest the heart muscle may be getting all the blood it needs. However, when the heart has to work harder the pulse rate is higher and during exercise, partially blocked coronary arteries can prevent extra blood from reaching the heart muscle. This causes recurrent chest pain called angina which often shows up during exercise stress testing.
This exercise test utilises the echocardiogram to study the function of your heart in combination with exercise stress testing. This is more accurate in ruling out people with blocked arteries.
NUCLEAR CARDIAC STRESS TEST
This test is sometimes called an exercise thallium scan or nuclear scan. A radioactive substance called a tracer is used to produce an image of your heart muscles. When combined with an exercise test, a nuclear cardiac stress helps determine if areas of your heart are not receiving enough blood during rest and exercise.
DOBUTAMINE STRESS ECHO
A Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram is a test that assesses the function of your heart and whether it receives an adequate blood supply under stress. It can be used to diagnose or assess coronary artery disease.
A Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram (DSE) may be used if you are unable to exercise. Dobutamine is a medication which is put in a vein and causes the heart to beat faster. It mimics the effects of exercise on the heart
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement
Ambulatory Blood Monitoring is a device that will measure your blood pressure over a period of 24 hours. It is worn during regular daily activities under regular clothing.
The device is used to determine the pattern of your blood pressure during the day and night. The monitor helps to determine the need for blood pressure medication or whether existing medication is providing adequate control.
It is also useful in the diagnosis of “white coat” hypertension, a condition where blood pressure only appears to be elevated when it is measures at the doctor’s surgery.
A blood pressure cuff is attached to your arm. It is loose fitting, but it tightens at regular intervals usually every hour in order to take your blood pressure.
A Holter monitor, also called an ambulatory ECG, records the electrical signals of your heart for a full 24- or 48-hour period.
The purpose of a Holter monitor is to record heart signals during typical daily activities and while sleeping, and to find heart problems that may occur for only a few minutes out of the day.
You wear small patches called electrodes on your chest that are connected by wires to a small, portable recorder. The recorder can be clipped to a belt, kept in a pocket, or hung around your neck.During the 24 or 48 hours, you do your usual daily activities and keep a diary, noting any symptoms you have and the time they occur.
You then return both the recorder to your doctor to read the results. Your doctor, by reviewing the recording, can see how your heart was beating at the time you had symptoms.
CT Coronary Angiography
A CT Angiography is the X-ray imaging of blood vessels using contrast agents injected into the bloodstream. A CTCA uses computed tomography (CT) scanning to take pictures or images of the coronary arteries of the beating heart.
This is carried out at the Sunshine Coast Medical Imaging, located above Dr Sinnya's rooms.