WCH Cardiac Testing
Comprehensive Diagnostic Cardiac Testing
You want answers about your heart and cardiovascular system to be prompt and accurate. Here at The Cardiovascular Institute at Wooster Community Hospital, comprehensive diagnostic testing provides your doctor with the information to treat you quickly and conveniently.
Our professional clinical staff and board-certified cardiologists provide these diagnostic cardiac services in a friendly, convenient, and comfortable environment. Learn more below.
Our Cardiac Testing Services
An artery is a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood away from the heart, while a vein carries oxygen-depleted blood from the extremities and organs back to the heart.
An arteriogram (also called angiogram or angiography) or venogram (venography) is a diagnostic imaging test that uses X-rays and an injection of contrast dye to evaluate blood flow in arteries and veins. The test is performed to identify the presence and extent of blockages (blood clots) or narrowed areas of the blood vessels.
Cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic procedure used to view the heart and its blood vessels. A cardiologist, assisted by a specially trained team of technicians and nurses, performs the procedure in our cath lab.
During the procedure, a flexible, thin tube called a catheter is placed into the patient’s blood vessel, usually through the groin. Contrast dye is injected into the catheter, and with a special type of imaging (X-ray) screen, the cardiologist can see the heart’s blood vessels (coronary arteries) and locate blockages. This procedure also provides images of the heart’s valves and muscle contractions as it pumps blood.
ECP (external counterpulsation) therapy is an alternative to treating blocked coronary arteries that does not involve surgery. This noninvasive procedure can help someone who suffers from chronic chest pain.
During an ECP treatment, the patient lies on an exam table while a series of three blood pressure cuffs wrapped around each leg is inflated and deflated in time with the patient’s heartbeat.
The cuffs are inflated when the heart is relaxed between heartbeats, which squeezes blood toward the heart and increases the amount of blood flow into the coronary arteries. When the heart beats, the cuffs are quickly deflated to reduce resistance to the flow of blood as it is pushed out of the heart.
This beneficial stimulation in blood flow is similar to what occurs during exercise. Each treatment lasts about one hour and has minimal side effects. Patients who complete a full course of 35 ECP treatments over a seven-week period often report having more energy, less chest pain, less shortness of breath, and improved quality of life.
- A stress echo compares ultrasound imaging of the heart at rest and after the heart rate has been increased either by exercise or medication.
- Transesophageal echo (TEE) is performed by passing a small ultrasound probe into your esophagus. Since the esophagus is next to the heart, the TEE provides very clear pictures of your heart. Your doctor may perform this test to look at an area of the heart that is not usually visible with a standard echo or if the images from your echocardiogram were unclear.
An electrocardiogram, also called ECG or, more commonly, EKG, uses signals from electrodes placed on your chest to record the electrical activity of your heart. It's a common noninvasive test used to identify irregular heart rhythms, such as cardiac arrhythmia. It can also detect structural problems within the heart’s chambers, previous heart damage, and the effect of a pacemaker or heart regulating medication.
This wearable heart rhythm monitor is like a portable EKG that continuously records the electrical activity of your heart for a one or two-day period while you go about your daily activities. It is used to identify abnormal heart functioning such as cardiac arrhythmia, palpitations, or insufficient blood flow to your heart.
A stress test evaluates how well your heart works during exercise. While you are hooked up to an EKG machine, you will exercise on a treadmill. The pace and resistance will gradually be increased while your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.
A stress test is used to determine whether the heart is receiving adequate blood. It can detect coronary artery disease or abnormal heart rhythms.
A cardiac nuclear stress test combines nuclear imaging and a stress test to identify narrowing or blockage of the arteries surrounding the heart.
Following the administration of a radioactive but harmless isotope visible with the nuclear camera, pictures of your heart are taken at rest and again after your heart rate is increased (stressed) by exercise or medicine.
A cardiac nuclear stress test provides information about the heart’s chambers, pumping action, and blood supply. Test results may help your physician determine:
- Presence and extent of coronary artery blockage
- Effectiveness of cardiac procedures
- Prognosis following a heart attack
- Level of exercise you can safely perform
A calcium score test is increasingly recognized as a useful way to assess the risk of future cardiac events in people without symptoms. A simple CAT scan of the chest, it indicates the amount of hardening, or atherosclerosis, in the coronary artery walls by measuring calcium plaque.
If you choose to have this screening test, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled with a WCH cardiovascular specialist, your primary care physician or a physician with a special interest in interpreting the results. They will help determine what, if any, prevention or treatment strategies are needed to modify or reduce your heart disease risk factors.
Who Should Get Tested?
Women age 55 or older and men age 45 or older, with NO history of coronary artery disease, and who have one or more risk factors for heart disease including:
- High blood cholesterol
- Low HDL cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Cigarette smoking
- Type 2 diabetes
- Family history of heart disease at age 65 or younger in women and 55 or younger in men
Again, it is a simple screening test.
To arrange for this test, you or your doctor simply need to call (330)263-8282. A physician’s order is required for scheduling.
Drs. Paul Moodispaw, Dan Newton and Cyril Ofori of the Cardiovascular Institute at Wooster Community Hospital are leading the way in addressing the specific needs of our local population in understanding, preventing and combating heart disease. That includes a clear focus on women’s cardiovascular health. Also known as Heart Scan or Cardiac Scoring, it is a non-invasive CT scan of the heart which helps calculate the risk of developing Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).