Cardiovascular Imaging and Testing
South Seminole Hospital offers invasive and noninvasive procedures provided by board certified radiologists and cardiologists.
A new expansion to our cardiology services includes diagnostic catheterization. This is a diagnostic tool used by the interventional cardiologists to view the coronary arteries of the heart. Our cardiovascular team specializes in a team approach, caring for you before, during and after the exam.
- Cardiac catheterization procedures
- Coronary angiography
- Peripheral vascular testing
- Stress echocardiogram
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
- Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)
- M-mode echocardiography
- Two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiography
- Doppler echocardiography
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Location: South Seminole Hospital
Angiography is the study and examination of the blood vessels by creating a map of blood vessels. This map is created when a catheter is placed into the vessel and a contrast liquid called radiopaque is injected. This allows for special X-rays to be taken that illuminate the patient's blood vessels to form a picture, called an angiogram.
South Seminole Hospital's team of experienced healthcare professionals is here to help patients properly evaluate their cardiac and vascular health conditions. A cardiac catheterization is a procedure used in diagnosis and intervention of heart conditions. It can confirm or exclude a suspected problem, clarify confusing symptoms, or even treat a known condition.
Cardiac catheterization is a non-surgical test in which a small catheter (or hollow tube) is guided through a vein or artery into the heart. This test shows many heart-related problems such as narrowing of the arteries, outside heart size, inside heart chamber size, pumping ability of the heart, ability of the valves to open and close, as well as measurement of the pressures within the heart. Your physician may also wish to inject contrast through the catheter to examine your arteries; this is called angiography (or arteriography). A contrast medium (or dye) is injected through the catheter, which makes the vessels and heart visible by X-ray.
A cardiac catheterization is often used to:
- Evaluate blood flow to and from the heart
- Measure pressure in the heart
- Show your heart's pumping ability
- Identify any blockages
- Evaluate your vascular system (blood vessels)
Echocardiography is used to diagnose certain cardiovascular diseases, and is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests for heart disease. An echocardiogram provides detailed information about how well the heart is working and possible causes of chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and swelling. An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves that rebound or echo off the heart showing the heart's structure, movement, and flow of blood. Echocardiography is especially useful for assessing disorders of the heart valves. It not only allows doctors to evaluate the heart valves, but can also detect abnormalities in the pattern of blood flow.
South Seminole Hospital offers several types of echocardiograms, including those listed below.
- Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
- Stress Echocardiogram
- Color Doppler
In addition, the TTE, TEE, and stress echocardiograms use one or more of these special types of echocardiography, also available at South Seminole:
- M-Mode Echocardiography
- 2-D Echocardiography
- Doppler Echocardiography
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
Electrocardiography is a non-invasive test that detects your heart's rate and rhythm. An electrocardiogram (EKG) is an electrical recording of the heart and is used in the investigation of heart disease. Sometimes a physician may recommend a Holter monitor. This is a portable monitor that documents the heart's electrical activity over a 24-hour period and can detect heart rhythm problems, ischemia, or other conditions.
South Seminole Hospital offers electrocardiograms, as well as other diagnostic tests to meet our patient's needs.
Holter monitoring is a portable electrocardiogram (EKG) that provides a continuous recording of heart rhythm during normal activity. The monitor is non-invasive and is usually worn for 24 hours to obtain a recording of a complete day. It measures the electrical activity of the heart while patients perform everyday activities.
Holter monitoring is used to determine how the heart responds to normal activity. Holter monitoring is also used:
- To see how the heart responds
- To determine Cardiac medication
- After a heart attack
- To diagnose an abnormal or dangerous heart rhythm
Peripheral Vascular Testing
Arteries and veins work to carry blood to and from your heart. There are several tests that examine blood flow in your arms and legs that can tell your physician if there are any blockages or narrow passages in your veins or arteries. Peripheral vascular (non-heart) testing uses ultrasound to view blood vessels including the arteries in the neck. Narrowing of the blood vessel walls, blockages, and aneurysms may also be diagnosed with this technology.
Types of peripheral testing performed at South Seminole Hospital include:
- Venous Doppler
- Carotid Doppler
- Arterial Doppler
- Duplex Scans
- ABI (Ankle Brachial Index)
Exercise causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen into your blood. A stress test will show your physician how well your heart works during times of exertion. There are many reasons why a physician would want to monitor heart and blood flow through a stress test. Common reasons include:
- Detecting any irregularities in blood flow to your heart during activity
- Determining the effectiveness of heart medications you may be taking
- Discovering abnormal heart rhythms
- Evaluating previous procedures that may have been done to improve blood flow
- Constructing an exercise program
South Seminole Hospital offers exercise stress tests and nuclear stress tests. When you have a stress test, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill that slowly increases speed. Your heart is monitored through and electrocardiogram (EKG), which traces the rhythms of your heart as you exercise. A healthcare professional will be in the room with you to monitor your progress. If you cannot exercise, a medication can be used to make your heart work as if you are exercising. This will be given to you through and IV, and you will be attached to the EKG just as if you were walking. This procedure may be done in conjunction with nuclear imaging (nuclear stress test) of the heart or may be performed as a single procedure.
Tilt Table Test
Tilt table testing is a simple test that helps your physician pinpoint the cause of fainting (or passing out). It checks how changes in your body position affects your blood pressure. To do this you are placed on a table that is tilted upward in varying angles. The test tries to put stress on the cardiovascular system to recreate fainting symptoms while your blood pressure and heart rate are monitored. This helps your physician determine the treatment plan to address recurring fainting spells.