Posts for: December, 2019
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a quick test that your cardiologist uses to assess your heart function. Your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, uses EKGs and other diagnostic tests to determine if you have a problem with your heart.
When are EKGs recommended?
Your Tomball heart doctor may order an EKG if:
- You have chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, or an irregular heartbeat.
- Your legs, ankles, feet or abdomen are swollen.
- You have an increased risk of developing heart disease, due to smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a family history of the disease.
- He wants to see how well you're responding to a particular heart treatment.
- You have high blood pressure, diabetes, or another chronic condition and want to try a new form of exercise.
What information does an EKG provide?
An EKG provides information on heart rate, rhythm, and electrical activity in the heart. It can also be used to determine if you've had a heart attack, your heart is enlarged or if your heart is receiving sufficient oxygen.
How are EKGs performed?
Before your EKG begins, a technician will attach adhesive electrodes to your chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are connected to wires that transmit heart readings to a monitor.
During the test, you'll lie down and remain perfectly still. Fortunately, the test only takes a few minutes and is completely painless. In fact, removing the sticky electrodes at the end of the EKG may be the only slightly uncomfortable part of the test.
In some cases, EKGs may be used to monitor how your heart responds to physical activity. In this case, you won't need to remain still but will run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike.
When will my cardiologist give me the results of my EKG?
Your cardiologist may discuss your results with you as soon as the test is finished. If any abnormalities are detected, he may recommend a few more tests. Additional testing may still be needed if you have symptoms but your EKG is normal, as the test only detects certain kinds of abnormalities.
Are you worried that you may have a heart condition? Call your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, at (281) 357-5700 to schedule an appointment.
Are you unable to undergo a traditional stress test because you can't tolerate exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike? Pharmacologic stress tests, offered by your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., offer another way to gather information about your heart function.
What is a pharmacologic stress test?
Stress tests evaluate how your heart reacts to physical stress. The test measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and your heart's electrical activity. A stress test is usually conducted while you run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike, but exercise isn't the only way to stress the heart.
A pharmacologic stress test uses medication instead of exercise to increase your heart rate and make your heart work harder. The test may be recommended if:
- You have severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or another breathing issue.
- You can't exercise due to an injury, blood clots, arthritis, or another condition that makes it hard to stand, run or put pressure on your feet or legs.
- You have low blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- Your test results may not be accurate due to an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
- You have a stent or had bypass surgery.
What conditions can be diagnosed with the test?
Your Tomball cardiologist may use the pharmacologic stress test to:
- Determine how well heart medications or treatments are working
- Find out if a heart problem is the reason you have chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness
- Make sure that your heart is healthy if you'll be having surgery for a non-heart issue
- Evaluate your heart condition
What happens during a pharmacologic stress test?
An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your arm and electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs before your test begins. The electrodes will transmit information about your heart's electrical activity to a monitor during the test. You'll be given a medication through your IV that raises your heart rate and makes your heart pump harder.
As the drug affects your heart, your cardiologist will not only evaluate your electrical activity, but also closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. In some cases, stress tests may be performed in conjunction with imaging tests that offer additional information about your heart.
Pharmacologic stress tests can help your heart doctor determine if you have a problem with your heart. Contact your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, at (281) 357-5700 to schedule your appointment.