Arrhythmia Diagnostic Procedures and Tests
A variety of diagnostic procedures and tests are performed to detect several heart-related diseases and conditions.
- Blood Tests: Sometimes, thyroid gland abnormalities could cause cardiac rhythm disturbances. Hence, a blood test to check for thyroid hormone levels might be warranted.
- Electrocardiogram: Noninvasive test in the office to display and record the electrical impulses from the four chambers of the heart.
- Electrophysiology Study
- Echocardiogram: In this noninvasive test, ultrasound signals are used to assess the function of the heart, the size of the chambers and structure of the heart valves.
- Event Monitoring: This device is similar to a Holter monitor (see below) that is worn for longer durations (3-4 weeks) and it records when activated. In essence it records when you experience symptoms.
- Holter Monitoring: Similar to the ECG, this portable monitor is worn under clothing for 24 to 72 hours to provide a continuous recording of the heart’s electrical activity. There is an added feature, where the patient can press a button to activate recording when symptoms are felt. This is mainly used to correlate heart rhythm with what the patient feels at that time.
- Implantable Loop Recorders: Implanted devices that monitor heart activity and rhythm.
- Tilt Table Test: The patient lies on a table that moves from a flat to vertical position, while heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. This test can be used to diagnose the cause of unexplained fainting.
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