UAB Heart & Vascular Clinic of Central Alabama : 3368 Highway 280 Suite 130 : Alexander City, AL 35010 256.234.2644

UAB HEART AND VASCULAR CLINIC OF CENTRAL ALABAMA NON INVASIVE STUDIES

Cardiac Event Recorder (Holter monitors and  Event monitors) Cardiac event recorder’s use a small portable EKG to record your heart rhythm over a period of time, usually 24 hours to several days or weeks. During that time, when you feel any symptoms, you press a button and the monitor records your heart rhythm.

Echocardiogram A map of the position and motion of the heart walls and internal structures obtained from ultrasonic sound waves directed through the chest wall. This test can help determine whether there is a problem with the structure of the heart muscle or heart valves. Please allow 30 minutes to one hour for this procedure.

Echocardiogram Stress Testing Imaging tests are generally obtained when a physician wants to confirm or rule out the presence of coronary artery disease. A Stress Echo is also performed in patients who have disease involving the heart muscle or valve, or if a patient is having inappropriate shortness of breath and a cardiac cause is suspected.

Stress Testing A test used to screen for heart disease during which the pulse, blood pressure, and electrical activity of the heart are monitored during exercise. Allow one to two hours for this test. Please wear two-piece comfortable clothing and comfortable walking shoes (tennis shoes). Please continue to drink water up until the time of your test; however, you should not have any other beverage or food five hours prior to your testing.

Nuclear Stress Testing Nuclear Stress Testing is imaging of the heart that follows stress testing and the injection of a low-dose radioactive tracer. This test is used to assess coronary blood flow which may identify blocked arteries or heart muscle damage. Allow three to four hours to complete the test. Please continue to drink water up until the time of your test; however, you should not have any other beverage or food five hours prior to your testing.

Electrocardiogram (EKG) An EKG records the electrical activity of the heart. EKG measures the heart’s rhythm and rate to determine irregularities in the heart beat.

Pacemaker and ICD Follow Up Specially trained nurses, physicians, and pacemaker technicians provide testing and programming of pacemakers and defibrillators. After your initial office check you may qualify to have some of the required phone checks completed at home.

Peripheral Vascular Sonography These studies utilize ultrasonic waves to evaluate blood through peripheral arteries and veins. They provide information to help locate any blockages of these vessels. Please allow 30 to 90 minutes for this procedure.

Coronary Calcium Scoring (this test is done in the hospital) Coronary calcium scoring uses a special X-ray test called Computed Tomography (CT) to check for the buildup of calcium in plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart.  This test is used to check for heart disease in an early stage and to determine how severe it is. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. Normally, the coronary arteries do not contain calcium. Calcium in the coronary arteries is a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD).  A CT scan takes pictures of the heart in thin sections. The pictures are recorded in a computer and can be saved for more study or printed out as photographs.

CT Angiography (this test is done in the hospital) A coronary CT angiogram is performed to evaluate the coronary arteries.  The coronary arteries extend from the aorta and supply the heart itself with blood.  These vessels are filled when the heart is relaxed.  The purpose of a coronary CT angiogram is to evaluate the coronary arteries to see if there is disease in the coronaries that has resulted in narrowing of the artery.  Coronary artery disease is usually created by atherosclerosis. The end result is the creation of a “plaque” or narrowing of the coronary artery.  If the coronary arteries become narrowed, the decreased blood flow to the heart may be felt as pain.  If the coronary arteries are completely blocked, a heart attack will occur.  If disease is present, you may be a candidate for an interventional procedure or surgery before an adverse outcome occurs.

Wellness Testing – Advanced Cardiac Screening