Heart disease patients or those suspected of having a heart disease are advised a number of test to determine the functioning of heart in various parameters. Various diagnostic test like ECG, Holter monitoring, Stress test and Echocardiogram have different significance when he comes to determine the heart functioning.
ELECTROCARDIOGRAM measures the electrical activity of the heart. ECG is the first line of diagnostic test to be done when patient has severe angina (chest pain) at rest or heaviness feeling in the chest.
ECG helps in following ways
1) First line of test to determine if patient is having a heart attack.
2) It helps to monitor changes in heart rhythm
3) helps to predict if heart attack is developing.
In echocardiogram sound waves are used to see how your heart is beating and also to see how your blood is moving through the heart chambers.
It basically helps us to determine the following
1) The heart pumping percentage i.e. how much percentage of volume the heart is pumping at each systole
2) Determine the cause of heart murmur
3) Helps in assessing functioning of heart valves
4) Helps in assessing the heart chamber size and functioning
TREADMILL STRESS TEST
In this test the patient is made to walk on a treadmill while ECG is being recorded while the patient walks on the treadmill.
Treadmill stress test help is assessing following things
Determine the cause of chest pain, shortness of breath and weakness
1) Assess the health of the heart
2) Assess safety of exercise
3) Identify heart rhythm changes with activity
4) Find evidence of inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle during exercise
The cardiologist may request a Holter monitor ECG if you have symptoms, such as dizziness, fainting, low blood pressure, ongoing fatigue (tiredness), and palpitations and a resting ECG doesn’t show a clear cause. The Holter monitor is a type of portable electrocardiogram (ECG). It records the electrical activity of the heart continuously over 24 hours or longer while you are away from the doctor’s office. Following assessment can be made from holter test
1) To evaluate chest pain that can’t be reproduced with exercise testing
2) To evaluate other signs and symptoms that may be heart-related, such as tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting
3) To identify irregular heartbeats or palpitations
4) To assess risk for future heart-related events in certain conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (thickened heart walls), after a heart attack that caused weakness of the left side of the heart, or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (where an abnormal electrical conduction pathway exists within the heart)
5) To see how well a pacemaker is working
6) To determine how well treatment for complex arrhythmias is working