An ECG is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart. This test will assist the Consultant in evaluating the patient’s cardiac condition in relation to:
- Any irregularity in heart rate, rhythm and beats
- Diagnosis of coronary heart disease
- If a heart attack has occurred, its location and size
- Efficacy of prescribed cardiac medication.
This is a simple procedure that involves the application of electrodes to the chest to measure tiny electrical impulses generated by the heart to ensure it contracts and relaxes in an organised manner. It’s considered the gold standard for cardiac arrhythmia diagnosis. Applications include a guide for risk stratification for patients with recent myocardial infarctions. The ECG is used as a screening tool for ischaemic heart disease and prior to operative procedures. It may also identify conduction disturbances, electrolyte imbalances and information on the heart’s position, chamber sizes, pericardial compliance, lung disease and central nervous system depression. There is no risk associated with the procedure. No preparation by the patient is required.
Holter Monitoring (Ambulatory ECG Recording):
A Holter Monitor is a type of electrocardiogram used to monitor the ECG tracing continuously for a period of 24 hours to 7 days during a patient’s normal daily routine.
The monitor is about the size of a mobile phone. The patient will be asked to wear it for 24 hours-7 days, depending on what has been advised by the consultant. The device will monitor the patient’s heart rhythm and record any symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, chest pains or shortness of breath they may experience during the length of time they are being monitored.
This involves the application of three ECG electrodes and a monitor to capture every single electrical impulse whilst the device is worn. A patient diary is issued to document daily activities for greater understanding of heart rate response. Any ‘event key’ can be pressed by the patient to mark a symptom on the recorded ECG. The monitor has greatest application in identifying arrhythmias as most patients will present with palpitations or syncope (black-outs). Appropriate pacemaker use and atrial fibrillation rate control are other examples of ECG monitor application. Depending on the frequency of the patient’s symptoms, monitors can be applied for 24 and 48 hours. There is no risk associated with the procedure. No preparation by the patient is required.
Treadmill Stress Test:
This procedure involves the application of electrodes similar to a standard ECG with the added component of physical exercise. This test is used as a screening tool for ischaemic heart disease, exercise induced arrhythmias, determining appropriate behaviour of a pacemaker or heart rate response of a patient with atrial fibrillation. Blood pressure is recorded at regular intervals to assess the response to exertion. The patient is normally required to fast three hours prior to minimise airway hazards.
Echocardiography with Colour Doppler:
Echocardiography with Spectral and Colour Doppler is a non-investigation that uses ultrasound technology to examine the heart for valve lesions, heart muscle disorders (including hypertension and heart failure) and congenital heart disease. High frequency sound waves create an image of the heart enabling to visualise the speed and movement of blood flowing in the heart using Doppler ultrasonography and colour coding them respectively.
Echocardiography is an ultrasound scan that is used to diagnose cardiovascular abnormalities. It provides detailed information, including the size and shape of the heart, and its pumping strength. It can identify:
- Pericardial effusion
- Coronary artery disease
- Myocardial ischemia
- Valvular Heart disease
- Heart failure and heart muscle disease.
Elpis Diagnostic & Clinic’s provide quality services using the Samsung X7 Ultrasound system with 3 standard probes and 1 Endovascular probe.