State-of-the-Art Diagnostic Services
If you are concerned about your heart health, Centegra Health System offers a wide variety of cardiac diagnostic tests. These services are used to find irregularities in the heart. Most tests are non-invasive and provide accurate reports about your heart function and behavior.
Centegra is committed to the cardiovascular health of greater McHenry County residents. Our echocardiography lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). Centegra’s Chest Pain Centers were the first accredited chest pain centers in the region.
Cardiovascular Diagnostic Tests Available at Centegra
Angiography is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure performed by a highly skilled cardiologist in one of three cardiac catheterization labs at Centegra. To learn more, visit the Cardiac Catheterization page.
An event monitor is a portable device that uses electrodes to monitor the heart. It is similar to a holter monitor, but monitoring can be for a longer duration, often between 10 and 30 days. The monitor only records if an “event” button is pushed to record a symptom. An event monitor is used for patients with less frequent symptoms.
MCOT (Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry)
This monitor consists of wearing three electrodes or a single patch over a period of seven to 30 days. It is commonly used for the detection of cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) or to explain loss of consciousness, dizziness, or palpitations. The MCOT differs from an event monitor in that there is actual real-time monitoring of your heart rhythm 24/7. The MCOT monitor often is worn for a shorter duration than an event monitor since monitoring is continuous, allowing for easier detection in rhythm changes. The MCOT patch monitor can be worn in the shower.
A holter monitor is a small, portable device that uses electrodes to continuously monitor the heart on a short-term basis, usually between 24 to 48 hours. A holter monitor also evaluates your heart rate and rhythm. This test is commonly ordered because of complaints of palpitations, light-headedness, or cardiac arrhythmias.
Exercise Tolerance Stress Test
Commonly called a stress test, this is a procedure that records blood pressure and the heart’s electrical activity (ECG) during exercise. The exercise is done on a treadmill or bicycle.
Stress Test with Nuclear Medicine Imaging
In this diagnostic test, heart scans are performed before and after exercise, which can help locate areas of your heart muscle that may have reduced circulation. A small IV is inserted so that a radioactive substance can be injected before and during exercise. After injection, you will be asked to lie still while a scanner takes pictures of your heart while your hands are raised above your head. The scan time takes no longer than 20 minutes.
Medication Stress Test with Nuclear Medicine Imaging
If you are unable to exercise, a special medication called Lexiscan or Dobutamine can be used as an alternative to exercise. In this diagnostic test, heart scans are performed before and after medication administration, which can help locate areas of your heart muscle that may have reduced circulation. A small IV is inserted so that a radioactive substance can be injected before and while the medication is being given. After injection, you will be asked to lie still with your hands raised above your head while a scanner takes pictures of your heart. The scan time takes no longer than 20 minutes.
Stress Echocardiogram with Exercise or Medication
If your doctor has ordered a stress echocardiogram, the ultrasound technician will obtain ultrasound images of your heart both before and immediately after exercise. Medication can also be used as an alternative to exercise.
Tilt Table Test
A tilt table test is a non-invasive test to help aid in the diagnosis of common symptoms such as dizziness, loss of consciousness, or changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Continuous monitoring of your heart rate and blood pressure are performed while you stand almost upright on a specialized table. An IV will be inserted for this exam.
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
This test is an alternate way to perform an echocardiogram of the heart. This procedure involves passing a special probe into your esophagus, while you are sedated, to view any structural abnormalities of the heart. 3D images can be obtained to get a better view of the hearts anatomy.
A Cardioversion is performed to convert your hearts rhythm back to a normal rhythm for patient’s who have Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. You will be sedated during this procedure and an electrical current will be sent through pads to “shock” your heart in normal rhythm. This exam is sometimes preceeding with a TEE to ensure there are no blood clots in your heart prior to cardioverting.
For answers to your questions about the diagnostic tests available in McHenry or Huntley, visit the Heart Center FAQ page or call (815) 759-4050.