CARDIAC TESTS

 

The Oakville Cardiologists Diagnostic Centre provides state-of the-art non-invasive Cardiac testing. All tests are supervised and reported by a Cardiologist certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Our Cardiac Diagnostic Centre is staffed with cardiac technicians highly trained in performing cardiovascular tests. You will be provided with information and instructions in order to perform your test and to ensure your well-being. You may be requested to come in early so that preparation for testing can be made.

In addition to our Cardiology Diagnostic testing services Oakville Cardiologists provides Cardiology Consultations at the request of referring physicians. If you require a Cardiology Consultation from one of our Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certified Cardiologists your physician will use our Consultation Request form. 

Echocardiogram

An Echocardiogram is a diagnostic procedure performed by using high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to take images and measurements of different parts of the heart. It is a diagnostic test used to examine the heart and its blood supply, determine how large the heart is, how well it contracts, and how the valves function. The test is performed by our specially trained cardiac sonographers. One of the Cardiologists may assist the sonographer if required.

 

You will be asked to change into a gown. The test will involve placing an ultrasound transducer on the chest wall over the heart. Gel is used for better contact between the transducer and skin. This test is not painful and will take about an hour to complete.

 

Through our affiliation with Halton Healthcare Services we also offer trans-esophageal echocardiograms, 3D echocardiography, and contrast echocardiography. These are specialized tests and the cardiologist who interprets your test may recommend one of these additional investigations.

 

Preparations For Testing

On the day of the test, you can eat or drink as usual and should take all prescribed medications.

No special preparation is needed.

Exercise Stress Test

An Exercise Stress Test is used to assess the heart’s response to exercise. This test is typically ordered to determine if there is coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the heart arteries). The test is also useful to identify abnormal heart rhythms provoked by exercise. 

This test involves walking in place on a treadmill while monitoring the electrical activity of your heart. Throughout the test, the speed and incline of the treadmill will increase. The results show how well your heart responds to stress at different levels of exercise.

You will be encouraged to exercise for as long as you can and the test is continued until the desired heart rate is reached or when you cannot exercise anymore. The test is supervised and interpreted by one of our Cardiologists.

Preparations For Testing

You may be asked to stop certain medications one day before the test. Please confirm this with your doctor. On the day of the test, do not eat or drink anything for at least two hours before the test. Please bring comfortable shoes and wear loose fitting clothes.

 
 
Exercise Stress Test Echocardiogram

This test combines Echocardiography with treadmill exercise electrocardiography (Exercise Stress Test) to enhance the accuracy of stress testing.

A full echocardiogram is performed prior to exercise to assess your resting heart function. You will then exercise until you achieve a target heart rate or you request to stop. The supervising Cardiologist or cardiac technician may ask for the test to be stopped early if an important abnormality is seen. When exercise is completed another echocardiogram is performed to assess heart function at peak exercise or immediately after. This test provides information about the adequacy of blood flow in your heart arteries and also the function of your heart valves.

This test does not require the injection of a radioactive tracer or an intravenous needle and can be completed within 1.5 hours.

Preparations For Testing

On the day of the test, you can eat or drink as usual and should take all prescribed medications.

No special preparation is needed.

 
Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple and painless test that measures and records the electrical activity of your heart. Many heart conditions including arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies, inherited heart defects, coronary heart disease, heart valve disease and heart attack can cause changes or disruptions in the electrical activity of your heart.

Preparations For Testing

 

On the day of the test, you can eat or drink as usual and should take all prescribed medications.

No special preparation is needed.

 
 
Holter Monitor

In this test, an Electrocardiogram (ECG) is continuously monitored for 24 to 72 hours. The signals are recorded on a special recorder which you will wear. This prolonged monitoring records transient rhythm or ECG abnormalities. This test can help determine if palpitations, dizziness or fainting spells are due to a change in the electrical activity of the heart. It can also help in assessing response to medications.

For this test, surface electrodes will be placed on the upper chest. The electrodes will be connected to a recorder placed on your waist. The monitor is worn continuously for 24 to 72 hours as requested by your physician.

You will be asked to keep a diary to record all activities and any symptoms with the exact time of their occurrence.

Preparations For Testing

On the day of the test, you can eat or drink as usual and should take all prescribed medications.

No special preparation is needed.

 
Arrhythmia Monitor

This monitor is ordered by a physician to determine if a heart rhythm disturbance is responsible for a particular symptom you may be feeling. This test is also referred to as a CardioSTAT monitor.

The device is worn continuously for up to 2 weeks. CardioSTAT is a compact, discrete and comfortable heart monitor that will allow you to stay active throughout the day. You may continue wearing it through workout sessions and even in the shower. 

Preparations For Testing

There is no need for fasting or any other special preparation. Take all your prescribed medications as usual and record them in the diary provided.

Please wear loose fitting clothing when coming to the clinic for this test.

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor

A one-time blood pressure measurement in a doctor’s office or clinic setting is often not enough to confirm whether or not your blood pressure is too high or even, in some cases, too low. If your doctor suspects that you have hypertension or other blood pressure problems, he or she may refer you for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

An ambulatory blood pressure monitor is a portable blood pressure recording device. This test monitors your blood pressure at regular intervals over 24 hours and readings are recorded. These readings are then analyzed by sophisticated equipment and the results are interpreted by one of our Cardiologists.

The equipment consists of a small recorder and a blood pressure cuff, which is applied to the arm. The cuff is worn continuously for the duration of the test. The cuff will inflate automatically at regular intervals to record the blood pressure.

If you have had a mastectomy or if you are on permanent hemodialysis, inform the technician; this will influence the positioning of the arm cuff. Usual activities should be performed except bathing.

 

Preparations For Testing

On the day of the test, you can eat or drink as usual and should take all prescribed medications.

No special preparation is needed. Please wear loose fitting clothing when coming to the clinic for this test.

 
Stress Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

Nuclear stress myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is a nuclear cardiology test that determines how well blood flows to the muscle of the heart (myocardium). This test is used to diagnose the presence or absence of coronary artery disease. Other names for this test are Nuclear SPECT, Exercise Cardiolite and Persantine Cardiolite studies.

During this test a radioactive tracer (called Cardiolite) is injected into the bloodstream and is taken up by the heart tissue. A specialized camera detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce images of the heart. Two sets of images are taken, one after an injection at rest and another after an injection during a stress test – either exercise stress on a treadmill/bike or drug-induced stress with Persantine (dipyridamole) medication, which simulates exercise.

This test is performed in the Cardiology/Nuclear Medicine Department at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

Preparations For Testing

Please wear running shoes and comfortable exercise clothes. Do not consume anything containing caffeine for 24 hours prior to the test. This includes coffee (including decaffeinated coffee), tea (including decaffeinated tea and herbal tea), soft drinks, chocolate (including chocolate flavourings and cocoa), Tylenol with codeine. Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours prior to your test. You will need to fast for 4 hours prior to your test. Since this test uses radiation you should notify the staff if you are planning to travel out of the country within days following the test. (We will provide you with a letter for Border Services.)

 
Oakville Cardiologists , Oakville, ONTARIO
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DORVAL SITE: 690 Dorval Drive - Suite 300, Oakville, ON L6K 3W7

NORTH SITE: 3075 Hospital Gate - Suites 409 and 419 Oakville, ON L6M 1M1

Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital:

3001 Hospital Gate, Cardiorespiratory Department, Oakville, ON, L6M 0L8

PHONE: 905.849.6799 · FAX: 905.849.8266

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Oakville Cardiologists , Oakville, ON