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Diagnosing Your Heart Condition
In this test, sound waves directed at your heart from a wand-like device (transducer) held on your chest produce video images of your heart in motion.
This test assesses the structure of your heart, the heart valves and the blood flow through your heart. An echocardiogram helps your doctor get a close look at the heart valves and how well they're working. Doctors may also use a 3-D echocardiogram.
Doctors may conduct another type of echocardiogram called a transesophageal echocardiogram. In this test, a small transducer attached to the end of a tube is inserted down the tube leading from your mouth to your stomach (esophagus).
This test allows doctors to have a closer look at the heart valves than is possible with a regular echocardiogram.
In this test, wires (electrodes) attached to pads on your skin measure electrical impulses from your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart, heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms.
Learn the ins and outs of an ECG
A chest X-ray can help your doctor determine whether the heart is enlarged, which can indicate certain types of heart valve disease. A chest X-ray can also help doctors determine the condition of your lungs.
A cardiac MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of your heart. This test may be used to determine the severity of your condition and assess the size and function of your lower heart chambers.
Different exercise tests help measure your activity tolerance and monitor your heart's response to physical exertion. If you are unable to exercise, medications to mimic the effect of exercise on your heart may be used.
Get more info on stress test options
This test isn't often used to diagnose heart valve disease, but it may be used if other tests aren't able to diagnose the condition or to determine its severity.
In this procedure, a doctor threads a thin tube (catheter) through a blood vessel in your arm or groin to an artery in your heart and injects dye through the catheter to make the artery visible on an X-ray.
This provides your doctor with a detailed picture of your heart arteries and how your heart functions. It can also measure the pressure inside the heart chambers.
When your body changes position, changed in heart rate and blood pressure can be signs of certain heart conditions such as syncope. People with this condition often experience losing consciousness or fainting for periods of time.
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