Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care offers a full range of noninvasive diagnostic testing options that allow its cardiologists to diagnose various heart conditions without inserting needles, instruments or fluids into a patient's body.
Noninvasive diagnostic testing options offered at Montefiore include:
The Holter monitor is one of two noninvasive tests offered by cardiologists in the Arrhythmia Program to determine the cause of an irregular heartbeat. The Holter monitor is a device that records every single heartbeat over a 24-hour period. When the patient returns to the hospital, the information is downloaded to a computer that searches the data for anomalies such as skipped beats or a flurry of rapid beats.
Use of the loop recorder is another noninvasive test offered at the Arrhythmia Program. Patients wear the device continuously for 30 days, and it continuously records information, but the device erases itself every five to seven minutes. If patients feel symptoms, they push a button to preserve the data. Patients then transmit the information over the telephone.
The tilt-table test is among a comprehensive battery of noninvasive tests offered by the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care. The test is ordered to help diagnose the cause of a patient's unexplained fainting. The patient lies on a table that alternates from a horizontal position to a vertical position while their heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. Results could indicate a number of conditions, including an abnormal nervous system reaction, a drop in blood pressure that occurs when standing up, or heart problems, such as arrhythmias, narrowed heart valves or thickening of the heart muscle.
Infusion of the drug procainamide, used to treat cardiac arrhythmias, is valuable in determining the cause of unexplained cardiac arrest. The test enables doctors to diagnose electrical disorders and irregular beating of the heart. The results provide an opportunity for doctors to formulate a therapeutic strategy for the patient, as well as for asymptomatic family members suffering from the same disease.
Chest X-rays are used to assess heart status, either directly or indirectly, by looking at the heart itself, as well as the lungs. Changes in the normal structure of the heart, lungs and/or lung vessels may indicate disease or other conditions. Additional tests may be required.
An electrocardiogram, also known as ECG or EKG, is a test that records electrical signals from the heart onto a paper strip. The pattern of these signals can help tell the doctor whether the heart is normal, under stress or experiencing electrical problems, strain or damage.