Tests & Diagnosis for Heart Conditions

Heart diagnostic tests in Paradise

Adventist Health Feather River is equipped with state-of-the-art cardiology imaging and strength-testing technology to measure heart health. These tests can give us information on your heart health and risk of developing heart disease.

ECG (electrocardiogram)

The ECG is a graph of the electrical activity of the heart. Your doctor uses the ECG to assess your heart rhythm, diagnose poor blood flow to your heart muscle, diagnose a heart attack, and diagnose abnormalities such as heart chamber enlargement and abnormal electrical conduction.

Holter monitor

A Holter monitor is a portable ECG recorder worn during your normal daily activities, including sleep. It can be worn up to 48 hours. Your heart’s electrical impulses are continuously recorded and stored in the Holter monitor. A technician analyzes the recording and looks for any abnormalities of the rhythm and prepares a full report for your doctor’s review and interpretation.

Event monitor

This device, similar to a Holter monitor, is worn during normal daily activities including sleeping — but for a longer period of time. The Holter monitor can record arrhythmias that occur less frequently. The rhythm can be sent immediately or saved and transmitted later, over the phone line. The technician will give the recordings to a cardiologist for review. If the reading indicates an emergency, the technician will instruct you to go to the emergency room.

Stress test

An exercise stress test involves exercising on a treadmill while you are closely monitored. The test is used to:

  • Determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease
  • Identify abnormal heart rhythms
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan

Cardiolite stress test

The Cardiolite stress test is a nuclear test is used to evaluate blood flow to the heart. During the test, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein to act like a dye for medical imaging. A special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce computer images of the heart. These images, obtained at rest and after exercise, are compared to evaluate coronary blood flow.

Persantine stress test

If you are unable to exercise on a treadmill for a stress test, a medication called dipyridamole (Persantine) is used instead of exercise to test the heart's blood flow.

Echocardiography

This imaging procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to create a moving picture outline of your heart’s valves and chambers. The sound waves are directed by a handheld wand or transducer placed on your chest. Echocardiography is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves to detect abnormal leakage or blockage.

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)

This more-invasive imaging procedure creates a picture of the heart's movement, valves and chambers using high-frequency sound waves from a small transducer passed down your throat. TEE provides clear images of the heart's movement because the transducer is close to the heart, so air in your lungs doesn’t interfere as much. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves.

Stress echocardiography

The exercise stress echo test involves exercising while you are closely monitored. An echocardiogram is done at rest and at peak heart rate after exercise. The images are compared to:

  • Determine how well your heart tolerates activity
  • Evaluate the function of your heart and valves
  • Determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan

Dobutamine stress echocardiography

This procedure involves infusing a medication, called dobutamine, through an intravenous (IV) line while you are closely monitored. Dobutamine stimulates your heart and is used when you are unable to exercise on a treadmill. An echocardiogram is done at rest and throughout the procedure to evaluate your heart and valve function.

Carotid duplex ultrasound

During this imaging procedure, high-frequency sound waves produce images of the blood vessels in your neck and help determine the presence of narrowing in the carotid arteries.

Vascular ultrasound

This noninvasive ultrasound method (also called a duplex study) is used to examine the circulation of the arteries and/or the veins in your arms and legs.

Ankle brachial index (ABI)/segmental arterial pressures

The ABI is a measurement of the blood pressure at the ankle compared to the blood pressure in the arm. Blood pressure cuffs are placed on the limbs and inflated, while Doppler is used to listen to blood flow in the leg and arm. The ABI helps your physician diagnose arterial disease in the legs, but it does not identify where arteries are blocked. If your ABI suggests a problem, segmental arterial pressures taken by using the cuffs at three or four levels on your legs will help zero in on where your arterial obstruction is located.

Testing locations

These important exams are performed by our experienced technologists and physicians using the latest digital technology in a comfortable, friendly environment.

Adventist Health Feather River
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Feather River Outpatient Medical Office–Clark Road
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Phone: (530) 876-7907
Fax: (530) 876-7989