Holy Cross Hospital offers a full range of diagnostic and interventional capabilities to evaluate heart disease including the following:
This test uses ultrasound to create an image of the size, shape and motion of the heart. This helps a doctor locate and assess damage caused by heart attack. A device called a transducer, pressed against the chest, sends ultrasound waves toward the heart. The waves bounce off heart tissues and return to the transducer, which sends all of the data from the test to a computer. The computer uses the information to create an image of the heart.
Also known as an ECG or EKG, this painless test is done with electrodes attached to your legs, arms and trunk. The electrodes record electrical activity in the heart, and reveal rhythm abnormalities that can be caused by damaged heart tissue.
Electrophysiology studies test the electrical activity of the heart to help doctors diagnose and treat arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat). During this procedure, doctors insert a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the heart. A specialized electrode catheter designed for EP studies lets them send electrical signals to the heart and record its electrical activity. The results can help you and your doctor decide whether you need medicine, a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), cardiac ablation or surgery.
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that adds an injection of radiographic contrast dye to X-ray imaging to allow doctors to see inside your heart and surrounding arteries. It can confirm or exclude a suspected problem, clarify confusing symptoms or even be used to treat a known condition.
Emergency Angioplasty for Heart Attack
During this procedure, a tiny balloon is placed on the tip of a long, thin tube called a catheter. The catheter is threaded into the clogged artery and the balloon is inflated. This widens the artery and improves blood flow to your heart. A wire mesh tube, called a stent, is sometimes left in the artery to keep it open.
64-slice Computed Tomography (CT) Imaging
Our state-of-the-art 64-slice CT scans use special X-ray equipment and a computer to create cross-sectional images of the heart at an unprecedented speed. These scans are more detailed than regular X-rays and give doctors a view of the coronary arteries not previously possible without a more invasive procedure. CT scans are noninvasive and painless and can help your doctor make the best diagnosis and determine the best treatment for you.
Cardiac Calcium Scoring
Cardiac calcium scoring is a great way for people with cardiac risk factors, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, to detect the earliest signs of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease. This noninvasive, quick and painless test uses CT (computed tomography) imaging to measure the calcium deposits in the arteries of your heart. More calcification in the coronary arteries increases the risk of blockages that may lead to a heart attack or stroke. By tracking the amount of calcium accumulating in your arteries, calcium scoring can alert you to seek treatment and prevent a heart attack.
For more information about CT imaging and cardiac calcium scoring, call the Holy Cross Hospital Radiology Department at 301-754-7658.