Diagnostic services offered at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset include:
Electrocardiograms (ECG) - This test, which takes about 5 minutes, records the electrical rhythm of the heart.
- Event Monitoring - For this test, you will carry a small monitoring device for two weeks. When a symptom occurs, you will be asked to hold the device against your chest to store your heart rhythm. Then you'll call a toll-free phone number and play the recording to a technician, who will notify the doctor immediately if there is a concern. Our cardiologist will review the information collected and a final report will be sent to your doctor.
- Memory Loop Event Monitoring - For this test, you will wear a small monitoring device with two wires, called leads, for two weeks except when bathing. This device will constantly record your heart rhythm. When you feel a symptom or a strange feeling in your chest, press a button on the recorder and it will freeze the recording back 2 minutes and forward 1 minute, capturing 3 minutes of information. You'll then call a phone number and transmit this information, and reset the device for the next event. At the end of two weeks a cardiologist will review the results and a report will be sent to your doctor.
- Holter Monitor Service - During this test, you will wear a monitoring device that records the heart's rhythm for 24 hours. You'll keep a diary of what you do during the day. A cardiologist will review the results and a report will be sent to your doctor.
If you have a pacemaker, you can have it checked in the convenience of your home by using a phone. A program box will be given to you to use with your phone when calling to make a routine pacemaker check. A database will compare how the pacemaker is working to the programmed settings. A cardiologist will review the results and a report will be sent to your doctor.
- Cardiac Stress Test - This test takes about 30 minutes. Wires will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart's rhythm. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill for up to 9 minutes while a doctor monitors your blood pressure, heart rate and heart rhythm.
- Nuclear Stress Test- This test is similar to the cardiac stress test, with the addition of a nuclear scan. A small amount of nuclear substance will be injected into your bloodstream, allowing your doctor to track blood cells as they circulate from the arteries to the heart muscle. For comparison, scans are taken before and after exercise. This four-part test takes 3 to 4 hours.
- IV Non-Exercise Nuclear Stress Test- This test is similar to the Nuclear Stress Test, but is for those who are unable to exercise or are taking certain beta blockers. Intravenous (IV) medication is used to mimic the effects of exercise on your heart while a machine monitors your blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm and pulse oximetry.
- Stress Echo - This test combines ultrasound images with a stress test. Images of your heart are taken before, during and after exercise, and are studied with stress test results to provide information about your heart's circulation and help detect any problems.
- IV Non-Exercise Stress Echo - This test is similar to the stress echo, but is for patients who can't walk on a treadmill. This type of stress echo uses IV medication to gradually increase heart rate.
Cardiac Ultrasound Testing
- Two-Dimensional Echo Imaging, Color Flow and Doppler - Using ultrasound, this test evaluates the function of the heart muscle. A non-invasive ultrasound beam will send back a signal when it hits a moving structure, such as your heart. Pictures will be taken, and colored maps will help find unusual blood flow patterns. You also may need a Cardiac Doppler test to measure how fast blood cells are moving through your heart valves or chambers.
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) - This diagnostic test looks at your heart's structure through a camera sent down your throat. A cardiologist performs the procedure, and a cardiology nurse will monitor your symptoms throughout the test, which takes 10 to 20 minutes. You'll be given anesthesia during the test and may go home two to four hours afterward.
- 3-D Cardiac Ultrasound- This test will provide a live, three-dimensional image of your heart similar to the Two-Dimensional Echo Test, but more complex.
Tilt Table Testing
This test is used to find the cause of syncope, or fainting. You will be asked to lie on a table for baseline blood pressure, heart rate and heart rhythm, and then will be tilted upright 80 degrees. During the test, you will be monitored for symptoms and changes in your blood pressure, heart rate or heart rhythm. You may be given a dose of medication to mimic dehydration. The test lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.
This test allows your doctor to check the functioning of your implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Your doctor and a nurse will monitor your symptoms throughout the procedure, and a representative from the ICD's manufacturer will record information from the device. For your comfort, anesthesia is given throughout the test, which lasts about 10 minutes. You may go home approximately 2 hours after the test.
This test is for those with a heart rhythm in atrial fibrillation. During the test, a cardiologist and nurse will use a defibrillator to deliver an electrically synchronized shock while monitoring your blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm and pulse oximetry. You'll be given anesthesia during the test, which takes 10 to 15 minutes. Discharge time varies with each cardiologist. Sometimes this test is done along with a Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE), which is used to check that there are no blood clots in your heart's right apical chamber.
To schedule an appointment, call 908-685-2947. After your appointment is scheduled, please call Pre-Registration at 1-844-RWJ4YOU (1-844-795-4968) or register online.
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