A summary of our test
AMBULATORY BLOOD PRESSURE MONITOR
An ambulatory blood pressure monitor is small digital blood pressure machine that is fitted for 24 hours to measure your blood pressure as you go about your normal daily activities, including sleep and rest periods. You will be asked to fill out a diary of your activities and medications taken in the 24-hour period. This test enables your doctor to get a clear understanding of how your blood pressure changes over the course of a day.
Commonly referred to as an “echo”, this test is an ultrasound of the heart. Our echocardiograms are performed by highly experienced cardiac sonographers. High frequency sound waves are used to produce images of the heart’s valves and chambers so that doctors can see how well your heart and heart valves are functioning. Your doctor may request this test to investigate signs or symptoms, such as a heart murmur, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations or swelling of the legs.
EXERCISE STRESS TEST
An exercise stress test will help your doctor determine whether your heart receives enough oxygen and proper blood flow during exertion. The exercise test is performed on a treadmill. The workload (speed and incline of the treadmill) is increased every three minutes. The test is stopped when you are too tired to continue or when your target heart rate is reached, or the doctor detects changes of concern with you or on your ECG.
Electrocardiographic (ECG) and blood pressure readings are taken throughout the test, as graded exercise can reveal changes on ECG that may otherwise not be detected in a resting state.
Your doctor may request this test if you have been experiencing chest pain or other symptoms of coronary heart disease or heart rhythm problems (e.g. chest heaviness/tightness, shortness of breath, sweating and dizziness).
A Holter monitor is a small, portable, battery-powered device that measures your heart’s electrical activity over a continuous period, while you go about your normal daily activities. The Peninsula Heart Centre uses the myPatch-SL Holter monitor, which has a slim, patch and single lead and can record for up to 14 days.
myPatch is placed on a disposable electrode that is applied to your chest. The slim, waterproof design allows you to continue with an active lifestyle without having bulky equipment and uncomfortable wires. After wearing the device (usually for a 24-hour period), the device is linked to a computer which downloads the information and prepares a report of your heart’s activities (ECG recordings).
Your doctor may request this test if you have a slow, fast or irregular heartbeat or if you have experienced symptoms of dizziness, blackouts or palpitations. Or, your doctor may want to see how well your medicines are working to treat these problems.
Commonly referred to as a ‘stress echo’, this is a painless, non-invasive test that involves comparing the contraction of your heart at rest and after exercise.
An echocardiogram is taken before and after an exercise test. The echo produces images of the heart’s valves and chambers so that the cardiologist can see how your heart is functioning and if there is evidence of heart muscle weakness during exercise. This may indicate severe coronary artery disease.
Exercise testing measures the performance and capacity of your heart and blood vessels, to determine whether your heart receives enough oxygen and proper blood flow when you are under stress (e.g., exercising).
Your doctor will request a stress echo to evaluate you for coronary artery and valve disease.
DOBUTAMINE STRESS ECHOCARDIOGRAM
This test involves the use of a drug called Dobutamine which is an Adrenaline-like medication that makes the heart beat stronger and faster to simulate heart activity during exercise. This allows us to compare the contraction of your heart at rest and after exercise.
The test involves an echocardiogram with a series of images taken before the drug is started and during the infusion of the drug at various stages. The echo produces images of the heart valves and chambers so that your doctor can see how your heart is functioning and if there is evidence of heart muscle weakness during the stages of “exercise”. This may indicate severe coronary artery or valvular heart disease. Dobutamine stress testing measures the performance and capacity of your heart and blood vessels, to determine whether your heart receives enough oxygen and adequate blood flow when your heart is under stress.