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Understanding Tests & Procedures

Diagnostic Tests

Electrocardiogram (ECG) - VHL HealthSheet #82010_VA
The ECG (also known as EKG) is a test that records electrical signals from your heart onto a paper strip. The pattern of these signals can tell the doctor whether your heart is normal, under stress, or experiencing electrical problems, strain, or damage.
Echocardiography (Echo) - VHL HealthSheet #82009_VA
An echocardiogram (echo) is an imaging test. It helps your doctor evaluate your heart. Here is how it works.
Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) - VHL HealthSheet #82071_VA
Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a test that allows your doctor to record images of your heart from inside your esophagus, or food pipe.
Stress Echocardiography (Echo) - VHL HealthSheet #82070_VA
Stress echocardiography, or stress echo, is a test that records images of your heart before and after exercise. By comparing the images, your doctor can tell whether your heart is getting enough blood to meet its increased demand for oxygen.
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography (Echo) - VHL HealthSheet #83072_VA
This type of echocardiogram uses the drug dobutamine and harmless sound waves to help see if any blood vessels in your heart are blocked.
Exercise Stress Test - VHL HealthSheet #82059_VA
An exercise stress test shows your heart’s response to exercise. The test records your heartbeat while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. It can be done in a hospital, a test center, or a doctor’s office. The test is also called a stress electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG).
Cardiac Nuclear Imaging (Nuclear Stress Test) - VHL HealthSheet #82060_VA
Cardiac nuclear imaging is also called a “perfusion scan.” A radioactive tracer is delivered into the bloodstream. Then a camera scans the tracer in the blood as it flows through the heart muscle.
Coronary Angiography - VHL HealthSheet #82008_VA
Angiography is a special type of x-ray that allows your coronary arteries to be viewed and recorded on film. Your doctor can see if the blood vessels to your heart are clogged.
What Is Holter Monitoring? - VHL HealthSheet #83074_VA
Holter monitoring is a painless way to record your heartbeat away from the doctor’s office. It is a small electrocardiogram (ECG) that you carry with you. Holter monitoring records your heartbeat for your doctor to review at a later time.
What Is Event Monitoring? - VHL HealthSheet #83076_VA
Event monitoring is a painless way to record your heartbeat away from the doctor’s office. It is a small electrocardiogram (ECG) that you carry with you. Event monitoring records your heartbeat for your doctor to review at a later time.
Electrophysiology Study (EPS) - VHL HealthSheet #82011_VA
An EPS closely monitors your heart rhythm. EPS can help determine exactly what your rhythm problem is and what can be done to control it. A specially trained doctor (electrophysiologist) performs the procedure in an EPS lab.
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