Cardiology is that branch of medicine which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases. Cardiologists investigate patients with suspected heart disease by taking a very careful, extensive history of the patient's condition and performing a complete physical examination.
"Radiology is the science which deals with the use of radiant energy for the diagnosis and treatment of a disease. A minimally invasive form of medicare, it allows the doctor to study a patient's internal system, without making any cuts on the
An electrocardiogram is a recording of the small electric waves being generated during heart activity. A normal heart beat is initiated by a small Pulse of electric current. This tiny electric "shock" spreads rapidly in the heart and makes the heart muscle contract. If the whole heart muscle contracted at the same time, there would be no pumping effect. Therefore the electric activity starts at the top of the heart and spreads down, and then up again, causing the heart muscle to contract in an optimal way for pumping blood.Preparations
Echocardiography is a diagnostic technique that can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart, its pumping strength, and the location and extent of any damage to its tissues. It is especially useful for assessing diseases of the heart valves. Echocardiography can reveal such abnormalities as poorly functioning heart valves or damage to the heart tissue from a past heart attack. However, a normal echocardiogram does not rule out the possibility of coronary heart disease.Preparations
An exercise electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for changes in your heart while you exercise. Sometimes EKG abnormalities can be seen only during exercise or while symptoms are present. This test is sometimes called a "stress test" or a "treadmill test."Preparations
A Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) evaluates how well your lungs work. PFTs measure the amount of air in your lungs, how well the lungs move air in and out.
A respiratory therapist will guide you through each test in a special exam room that has all the lung function measuring devices. Most of the tests are quick, easy and painless, but be sure to tell the therapist if you feel light-headed, tired or uncomfortable.
Don't eat a heavy meal right before the test, and avoid caffeinated foods or drinks. Don't smoke or exercise strenuously for six hours before the test. On the day of the test, wear loose clothing that won't restrict your breathing, and wear dentures to the testing if you normally wear them. Finally, just relax, breathe easy and do your best.
Your doctor may recommend a Holter or event monitor if he or she thinks you have anarrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat.
Holter and event monitors most often are used to detect arrhythmias in people who have:
People who are being treated for heart rhythm problems also may need to use Holter or event monitors. The monitors can show how well their treatments are working. Heart rhythm problems may occur only during certain activities, such sleeping or physical exertion. Holter and event monitors record your heart rhythm while you do your normal daily routine. This allows your doctor to see how your heart responds to various activities.
Holter monitors record your heart rhythm continuously for 24 to 48 hours. A Holter monitor is about the size of a large deck of cards. You can clip it to a belt or carry it in a pocket. Wires connect the device to sensors (called electrodes) that are stuck to your chest using sticky patches. These sensors detect your heart's electrical signals, and the monitor records your heart rhythm.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is when your blood pressure is being measured as you move around, living your normal daily life. It is normally carried over 24 hours. It uses a small digital blood pressure machine that is attached to a belt around your body and which is connected to a cuff around your upper arm. It small enough that you can go about your normal daily life and even sleep with it on.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is accomplished with a special device that consists of a blood pressure cuff that is worn on your arm and is attached to a small recording device that you wear on your belt. You wear the ABPM device for either 24 or 48 hours, and it records your blood pressure periodically (usually at 15-minute or 30-minute intervals) throughout that period, during your routine daily activities and while you are sleeping.
So the ABPM provides your doctor with a complete record of your blood pressure for a one- or two-day period.
The information the ABPM provides is fundamentally different from the information the doctor gets by taking your blood pressure in the office. The office blood pressure recording is a single value that is meant to reflect your blood pressure during quiet rest (which explains why, given the hectic environment of most doctors offices these days, the readings may not always be entirely accurate).
ABPM, in contrast, reports your blood pressures as they are obtained through a wide range of situations and activities—from running to catch a bus to sleep. And it is normal for a person’s blood pressure to fluctuate tremendously during the many activities a person typically performs in a day. So, unlike the blood pressure you get in the doctor’s office, the ABPM does not report merely a single value for systolic and diastolic blood pressure that supposedly represents your official “blood pressure.” Instead, it reports an entire range of (often) widely variable values throughout the course of a day or longer.
Color Doppler is a method of visually detecting motion or blood flow using a color map that is incorporated into a standard B-mode image. The principles of color Doppler are similar to those of pulsed-wave Doppler. However, a larger region can be interrogated, and detected blood flow is assigned a color, typically blue or red, depending on whether the flow is moving toward or away from the transducer. Frequency shifts are estimated at each point at which motion is detected within an interrogated region, thus yielding information on direction of motion and velocity. Shades of blue or red are used to reflect the relative velocities of the blood flow. All stationary objects are represented on a gray scale, as in B-mode imaging. The benefit of color Doppler is that information on the direction and relative velocity of blood flow can be obtained. Color Doppler is limited by its dependence on the relative angle of the transducer to the blood flow.
If you have symptoms of DVT, such as swelling or pain in your leg, your doctor may use Doppler ultrasound to see what’s going on. The images show where blood slows down or stops, which could mean you have a clot.
Doppler ultrasound is very effective in a lot of cases, but it’s not good at finding clots in your pelvis or the small blood vessels in your calf.
In addition to finding clots, Doppler ultrasound can be used to:
When it’s done on your belly, it can help find: