If you’ve been feeling dizzy, short of breath, extremely tired and have experienced chest pain or a fluttering feeling in your chest, it’s time to get your heart checked out. At Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, doctors utilize non-invasive diagnostic procedures and advanced imaging technology to assess the strength and health of your heart.
As a first step, your doctor may order basic blood work tests to look for signs of a heart condition, such as high cholesterol or lipoprotein-a, which are risk factors for heart disease; C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation; and both A1C and blood sugar, two indicators of diabetes. Depending on your blood work, your doctor may refer you for additional testing.
Procedures and tests performed in our cardiac catheterization lab include angiography, specialized cardiovascular imaging, stress tests and heart rhythm monitoring.
- Angiography — An angiogram can be used to diagnose heart disease, arrhythmias and other heart conditions. Different types of angiography tests include coronary, aortic, left heart ventricular and magnetic resonance.
- Cardiovascular Imaging — To view the heart, veins and arteries, doctors use tests such as a heart MRI, heart CT scan, echocardiogram, or intravascular ultrasound. Some imaging tests for the heart use a small amount of radioactive tracer, such as nuclear ventriculography and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT).
- Stress Tests — By comparing the electrical activity of the heart before, during, and after physical exercise, your doctor can determine how well the heart muscle is functioning during increased stress. Tests include an exercise or treadmill stress test, nuclear stress test and stress echocardiogram.
- Heart Rhythm Monitoring — An include electrocardiogram (EKG), holter monitor, loop recorder and syncope fainting tile table test can be used to diagnose irregular heart rhythms.
Our electrophysiology lab is dedicated to advanced technological procedures that are used to study the heart's electrical function. Using an electrode catheter, lab technicians can diagnose arrhythmias and other heart abnormalities.