Cardiovascular Testing Services
The Cardiovascular testing services at Dixie Regional Medical Center is an experienced, high-volume, imaging service. Our committed team works with various specialists and surgeons across the hospital to diagnose patients in all stages of cardiovascular disease.
Our physicians are focused on the appropriate use of imaging scans, making sure we apply the right test to the right patient at the right time. We also pay special attention to keeping patients safe and comfortable throughout procedures.
Our program offers rapid turnaround for emergent patients. Results are available immediately after completion of the procedure. We offer an open schedule, allowing same day appointments for new patients. After hours, we provide “on-call” coverage so physicians may access our service at any time.
In addition, the results of our studies can be viewed anywhere in the hospital through our electronic medical record system. Image workstations are available on each patient unit and available to our cardiologists for immediate review.
Testing Services Available
Echocardiography is a painless test that uses sound waves to create images of your heart. It provides your doctor with information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart’s chambers and valves are working.
Electrocardiograms (EKG, ECG)
An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a simple, painless test that records the heart's electrical activity. To understand this test, it helps to understand how the heart works.
With each heartbeat, an electrical signal spreads from the top of the heart to the bottom. As it travels, the signal causes the heart to contract and pump blood. The process repeats with each new heartbeat. The heart's electrical signals set the rhythm of the heartbeat.
Some echocardiograms are enhanced with 3D technology so that the doctor can see a three-dimensional picture and manipulate it to see the heart from multiple angles. This imaging is done as part of either a transthoracic or transesophageal echocardiogram.
Nuclear Cardiology and Heart Perfusion Imaging
Nuclear cardiology studies use noninvasive techniques to assess heart blood flow. These procedures evaluate the pumping function of the heart and can visualize the size and location of a heart attack. Among the techniques of nuclear cardiology, heart perfusion imaging is the most widely used.
A stress test is a practical way to assess the heart's capacity for work - and to identify coronary artery disease or the need for further tests or treatments. A stress test involves causing heart stress and then monitoring the heart's reaction.
Transesophageal Echo (TEE)
During the transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) test, an ultrasound transducer (which produces high frequency sound waves) provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the physician evaluate the pumping action of the heart.
The ultrasound transducer is positioned on an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter). The endoscope is placed into your mouth and passed into your esophagus (the "food pipe" leading from your mouth into your stomach) to provide a close look at your heart's valves and chambers without interference from the ribs or lungs.
TEE is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart’s valves. TEE is often used when the results from standard echo studies were not sufficient or when your doctor wants a closer look at your heart.