Patient Services and Education


EKG (Electrocardiogram)

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.

The heart is a muscular pump made up of four chambers camera. The two upper chambers are called atria, and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. A natural electrical system causes the heart muscle to contract and pump blood through the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body.


holter monitoring

A Holter monitor is a small recorder that is attached to your body by stickers similar to those used to make an electrocardiogram (ECG). You will be asked to keep a diary of events during the 24-hour period that you wear the monitor. This record will help the doctors know when you are active, sleeping or having any symptoms that might be caused by a heart rhythm problem.

Once you have completed the recording, you will return the recorder to CVG for review. A technician will process the information from the recorder for your CVG cardiologist to review.


cardiac Event monitoring

Cardiac event monitoring is used to record a patient's heart rhythm when he or she is experiencing symptoms. It is activated by the patient when he or she is experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, fainting spells or chest pain to discover what is causing the symptoms.

Like Holter monitoring, event monitoring involves wearing a very small, portable, EKG recorder over a period of time that can vary from weeks to months.

There are different kinds of event monitors. They can be worn like a wristwatch, carried in a purse or pocket, or worn like a beeper.

During the time the monitor is worn, patients are encouraged to go about their usual activities, but will be asked to record the dates and times for activities such as walking, resting, and eating, when medication is taken, and when symptoms occur.

A CVG cardiologist will review the recordings and inform the patient about the results at the next visit or sooner, if needed.


cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat some heart conditions.

A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck and threaded to your heart. Through the catheter, your doctor can do diagnostic tests and treatments on your heart.

For example, your doctor may put a special type of dye in the catheter. The dye will flow through your bloodstream to your heart. Then, your doctor will take x-ray pictures of your heart. The dye will make your coronary arteries visible on the pictures.

The dye can show whether a waxy substance called plaque has built up inside your coronary arteries. Plaque can narrow or block the arteries and restrict blood flow to your heart.


stress test

Cardiac stress test is a test used to measure the heart's ability to respond to external stress in a controlled clinical environment.

The stress response is induced by exercise or drug stimulation. Cardiac stress tests compare the coronary circulation while the patient is at rest with the same patient's circulation observed during maximum physical exertion, showing any abnormal blood flow to the heart's muscle tissue (the myocardium). The results can be interpreted as a reflection on the general physical condition of the test patient. This test can be used to diagnose ischemic heart disease, and for patient prognosis after a heart attack (myocardial infarction).


cardiac pet scan

A heart positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease or poor blood flow in the heart.

Unlike magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), which reveal the structure of and blood flow to and from organs, a PET scan shows how organs and tissues are working.

A heart PET scan can tell your doctor whether areas of your heart muscle are receiving enough blood, if there is heart damage, or scar tissue in the heart.


carotid duplex

Carotid duplex is an ultrasound test that shows how well blood is flowing through the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are located in the neck. They supply blood to the brain.

The test is done in our vascular lab or radiology department. You will be asked to lie on your back. Your head will be supported to prevent it from moving.

A water-soluble gel is applied to your skin and a handheld device called a transducer is gently ran over the area of the carotid arteries in your neck.

The device sends high-frequency sound waves to the arteries in your neck. The sound waves bounce off the blood vessels and form images or pictures of the insides of the arteries.


abdominal duplex

The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the abdomen that branches the iliac arteries in the lower abdomen that courses along the pelvis. The aorta also has branches that supply blood flow to major organs in the body. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (a bulge or enlargement of a weakened area in the artery) affect over 2.3 million Americans, but rarely produce symptoms until they rupture.

If the aneurysm should rupture there is a 90% mortality rate, making aneurysms the 13th leading cause of death in this country. In addition, blockages in the aorta and iliac arteries may leave
a patient with pain in the hip, buttocks or thigh muscles during exercise. An Abdominal Duplex ultrasound study can detect these abnormalities.


ankle-brachial test

This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest. Measurements are usually repeated at both sites after 5 minutes of walking on a treadmill.

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) result is used to predict the severity of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). A slight drop in your ABI with exercise means that you probably have PAD. This drop may be important, because PAD can be linked to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

This test is done to screen for peripheral arterial disease of the legs. It is also used to see how well a treatment is working (such as medical treatment, an exercise program, angioplasty, or surgery).


cardiac ablation

Cardiac ablation is a procedure that is used to scar small areas in your heart that may be causing your heart rhythm problems. This can prevent the abnormal electrical signals or rhythms from moving through the heart.

During the procedure, small wires called electrodes are placed inside your heart to measure your heart’s electrical activity. These electrodes may also be used to destroy the bad areas of your heart.

Cardiac ablation procedures are done in a hospital laboratory by our specially trained staff. The setting is safe and controlled to make your risk as low as possible.