Equipped with the latest technology and expertise, Memorial’s exceptional staff and physicians at the Guerry Heart and Vascular Center offer a comprehensive array of services to diagnose heart problems. Physicians who specialize in heart disease interpret these studies to detect conditions that might require additional testing, medical treatment or surgical intervention. Cardiac diagnostic services are offered at both Memorial and Memorial Hixson hospitals.
An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart. The cardiologist can see the heart beating, observe the blood flow through the valves and heart chambers, and check the pumping function of the heart. This test is used to evaluate heart murmurs and patients who have had heart attacks or may have heart disease.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity of your heart. Sometimes the test is done while you are walking on a treadmill to monitor changes in your heart as you exercise. Physicians order this test as a screening for coronary artery disease or to get a general idea of physical fitness.
A Holter Monitor is a machine that continuously records the heart's rhythms. The monitor is usually worn for 24 to 72 hours during normal activity. Patients are asked to keep a diary of activities and press the event button if they experience dizziness, fluttering sensations in the heart or chest pain. The activities will be matched with the findings.
Nuclear Stress Test
You will either walk on a treadmill or be injected with a special medication to “stress” the heart and then be given an injection of a radioactive tracer which gives minimal exposure, has no side effects, and is eliminated by the body. Images are taken of your heart at rest and again after stress to determine if there is any decrease in blood flow to one area of the heart and how much heart muscle is involved.