Experienced cardiac nurses and technicians perform more than 5,000 non-invasive cardiac diagnostic tests each year, helping primary care physicians and cardiologists evaluate chest pain and other symptoms of potential cardiac problems. All diagnostic test results are sent to the patient’s physician immediately after the test and they are entered into the patient’s electronic medical record. Riverside physicians have 24/7 access to their patient’s electronic medical records making diagnostic reporting, patient notifications and development of a treatment much faster. much faster.
EKG, Event Monitor and Holter Monitor Tests
An EKG (short for electrocardiogram) is a fast and painless test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on a paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves. From examining these waves a cardiologist or other qualified medical staff can determine if certain areas (but not all) of the heart muscle have been damaged.
Holter and 30 Day event monitors are small and portable EKG recording units applied by a trained EKG technician. Patients are able to go about their daily routine while the unit records their heart rhythm for later evaluation.
Cardiac Stress Tests
Cardiac stress tests or “treadmill tests” are performed by Riverside cardiologists and are used to help determine the cause of chest pain. These tests serve as a guide for further testing and treatment and may be performed in conjunction with echocardiograms and nuclear cardiac imaging if further evaluation is needed.
Because an EKG cannot reliably measure the heart’s pumping ability, ultrasound tests called “echocardiograms” are used. These ultrasound images show the size and shape as well as the function and efficiency of the heart muscle. This painless procedure is performed by highly trained technologists and interpreted by our board certified cardiologists.
Non-invasive Vascular Lab (NIVL)
Ultrasound studies are also used to detect blockages in the arteries and veins of the arms and legs as well as the arteries that supply blood flow to the brain. They are a valuable tool in diagnosing vascular conditions and are performed in the non-invasive vascular lab (NIVL) sometimes referred to as the peripheral vascular lab.
CT (also called CAT) scan is short for “computer assisted tomography” and is a valuable diagnostic tool for heart and vascular specialists. Riverside utilizes the innovative 128-slice CT scanner which provides nearly twice the imaging power of conventional scanners. It is the only locally available 128 CT scan. This technology can produce three-dimensional images of a beating heart within seconds. Riverside specialists use CT scanners to accurately locate artery blockages so they can determine the best treatment options. By combining non-interventional and interventional radiology procedures, more accurate images are obtained and better patient outcomes are achieved.