Diagnostic tests

Various tests are used by health professionals to diagnose and decide a course of treatment for those with cardiovascular disease.  You may have had some of these tests or are booked to have tests and want to know more about them.  Here are some of the most common.

ElectrocardiograHeart Care ECGphy (ECG)

An ECG is used to look at the rhythm, electrical activity and the teamwork between the atrial and ventricular parts of the heart.  It is used to diagnose a ST elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).  It can also detect arrhythmias.


This is where a radio-opaque dye is injected into the body.  The patient has an X-ray; the dye will show up on the X-ray, showing the coronary arteries and any stenosis.  This gives the practitioners an idea of the size of the lesions in the coronary arteries, allowing them to decide on a treatment.  



This is a non-invasive procedure.  It is a kind of ultrasound of the heart.  It shows a moving image of the chambers and valves, allowing the practitioner to see the thickness, see any presence of valve disease or left ventricle systolic disease.  It can also provide ejection fraction, which is an important measure involved in the diagnosis of heart failure. 

Ryan Hodgkinson