Our licensed, experienced, and knowledgeable team of cardiologists, heart surgeons, endocrinologists, nurses, and support staff at Reading Cardiology Associates are passionate and dedicated to providing patients with high-quality care. We stop at nothing to accurately diagnose and effectively treat any condition you may have. We use cutting-edge technology and advanced diagnostic testing to formulate a customized treatment plan suited for every patient’s unique needs. Our detailed approach enables our cardiovascular team to get all the information they need to make informed decisions regarding your heart and overall body health.

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To diagnose and identify common heart conditions, we perform the following tests:

Lexiscan or Regadenoson Nuclear Stress Test

This is a type of medication used to cause the arteries around the heart to widen temporarily. Healthy arteries respond better than blocked arteries. The test involves a resting portion and a stress portion. Patients are advised not to eat, drink, smoke, or consume caffeine 12 hours before the procedure. The doctor will ask whether the patient is taking any medication to assess whether they are safe to take before the test.

Exercise Nuclear Stress Test

Similar to a Lexiscan, except you will exercise prior to obtaining the pictures under the nuclear camera.

Exercise Stress Echo

The test determines how well the heart can handle physical activity to determine if the patient is at risk of heart failure. It is performed on a treadmill or exercise bike, and patients are encouraged to exercise to increase their heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Patients are advised to avoid nicotine and caffeine on the test day and not to eat or drink at least four hours before the procedure.

Electrocardiogram Test (EKG/ECG)

This is a painless, quick test used alongside other tests to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical signals using sensors (electrodes) attached to the legs, chest, and arms. It is used to assess symptoms of heart problems such as shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness. It is also a foundational study for assessing chest pain though is far less sensitive than a nuclear or echocardiographic stress test.

Two Dimensional Echocardiogram with Doppler (Ultrasound)

This uses sound waves that produce images of the patient’s heart and blood vessels. The test uses a probe on your chest or down your throat. The images help identify heart muscles and valve abnormalities. It detects how strongly the heart pumps blood and identifies any problems with its valves and chambers.

Heart Catheterization

Heart catheterization includes:

Left Heart Catheterization (LHC)
This evaluates heart function, valve problems, and heart defects. A slender and flexible tube is threaded into the left side of the patient’s heart and a medical dye is injected to allow cardiologists to check blockages. Patients should not drink or eat 8 hours before the test.

Right Heart Catheterization (RHC)
Also known as pulmonary artery catheterisation or Swan-Ganz catheterisation. A thin catheter is inserted into the right side of the heart and pulmonary artery. The catheter is left in position allowing the cardiologist to see how well the heart is working while measuring blood pressure in the heart and lungs. It is used to evaluate kidney abnormalities or low blood pressure. It determines cardiomyopathy, heart valve disease, heart failure and cardiogenic shock.

Coronary Angiogram
Also called cardiac catheterisation is done after a heart attack and angina (chest pain). A small tube is put into an arm, wrist, or groin artery during the procedure. The catheter is carefully moved into the artery until it reaches the heart. A medical dye is injected into your coronary artery, and an X-ray is taken to show the doctor the clogged or blocked coronary artery.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI is a noninvasive test that uses radiofrequency waves to create detailed images of the heart and structures of the body on the computer. The test examines the tissue of the heart muscle and can give detailed information on valvular heart disease. It is often used to assess any burden of scar tissue in or around the structures of the heart. An MRI is unsuitable for patients with pacemakers and metal implants because of its magnetic effect and artifact which distort the image.

Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (CCTA)

This is a noninvasive, specialized type of computed tomography (CT) scan. The test is used to help diagnose coronary artery disease. It is suitable for people who are relatively young may be experiencing low to intermediate risk for coronary artery disease.

Blood Tests

A blood test checks for high cholesterol levels and other substances in the blood. It can help doctors assess heart health by checking the risks of developing a heart disorder and measuring the substances in your blood to show how much your heart muscle has been damaged. The blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm and taken to the laboratory, after which the doctor interprets the results.

Vascular Doppler

This noninvasive test uses sound waves to evaluate the body’s circulatory system and identify clots and blocked arteries. Doppler ultrasound is usually part of a vascular ultrasound examination. The ultrasound can estimate how fast blood flows by measuring the frequency range. During the procedure, a small handheld device is pressed against the skin over the examination area, moving it in different areas as required. The test helps doctors to check for artery injuries and monitor vein and artery treatments.

Peripheral Angiogram

A peripheral angiogram is also known as a peripheral arteriogram. The test helps doctors to see blockages in the leg arteries using X-rays. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is associated with arterial blockages in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes pain and fatigue in the legs. Patients should avoid eating or taking fluids before the procedure.

Electrophysiology (EP) Study

An EP study, invasive cardiac electrophysiology, examines the heart’s electrical activity. The test is used to diagnose abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmia). During the test, catheters and wire electrodes are inserted through blood vessels entering the heart to measure electrical activity. An EP study creates a detailed map of signal movement between each heartbeat and helps predict the risk of sudden cardiac death in patients.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

This is a type of echo test that uses high-frequency waves to give detailed images of the heart and arteries. A thin tube is passed through the mouth down to the esophagus. The esophagus is close to the heart’s upper chambers. Doctors use TEE to assess heart valve function, follow valve disease and accurately assess blood clots in the heart. This is a commonly ordered test if you have new onset atrial fibrillation and have not been on a blood thinner for a prolonged period of time.

Holter Monitoring

This portable ECG device is worn continuously to record the heart rhythm for 24 to 72 hours to detect heart rhythm problems that are not found during a regular ECG examination. During the procedure, electrodes (tiny patches that stick to the skin) are placed at certain points in the chest and abdomen. The electrodes are connected to an ECG through wires, and the heart’s electrical activities are measured (without sending electricity to the body), recorded, and printed. The doctor may request a Holter monitor exam if you are presenting symptoms like fainting, dizziness, ongoing fatigue, palpitations, and low blood pressure or see how well a pacemaker works.

Reading Cardiology Associates offers comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic testing for various heart conditions. Contact us today or schedule an appointment online.