Being one of the best cardiology clinics in Dubai, PrimaCare offers the following non-invasive cardiology diagnostic tests to determine cardiac risks of the patient.
ECG alias Electrocardiography is the method of recording the electrical activity of the heart over a particular period applying electrodes placed on the skin. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse generated from special cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), records these electrical signals as they travel through your heart. Your doctor can use an electrocardiogram to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions.
Why is ECG done?
ECG is the basic, non-invasive way to diagnose most common types of heart problems. Our specialist cardiologist may use an electrocardiogram to detect:
- Irregularities in your heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
- Heart defects
- Problems with your heart's valves
- Narrowed or blocked arteries in heart (coronary artery disease)
- A heart attack, in emergency situations
- A previous heart attack
Echocardiogram utilizes sound waves to create images of your heart. Mostly, this test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Our cardiology doctor in Dubai uses the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves.
The Importance of Echocardiogram
Our specialist cardiologist in Dubai often suggests an echocardiogram if he suspects issues with the valves or heart chambers or with the heart's ability to pump. An echocardiogram can also be used to detect congenital heart defects in unborn babies.
Depending on the types of information your cardiologist needs, you may have to undergo one of the following kinds of echocardiograms:
- Transthoracic echocardiogram: A standard and most commonly used, non-invasive echocardiogram. In this method, an ultrasonic transducer (or a probe) is placed on the abdomen or chest of the subject to obtain different views of the heart. It is usually used for a non-invasive assessment of the comprehensive heart health of patients, including heart valves and degree of cardiac muscle contraction. These images are recorded and displayed on a monitor for real-time viewing.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram: Your cardiology doctor may suggest a transesophageal echocardiogram if it gets difficult to get clear images of your heart with a regular echocardiogram. During this procedure, a soft, pliable tube consisting a transducer is guided down your throat and then into your esophagus, connecting your mouth to your stomach to obtain detailed pictures of your heart.
- Doppler echocardiogram: When sound waves get reflected by blood cells passing through the heart and blood vessels, causing Doppler shift. These Doppler signals help cardiologists evaluate the and direction and pace of the blood flow in patients’ hearts. Doppler techniques are commonly used in transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms, and they can probe the level of blood pressure and blood flow issues in the arteries of a patient's heart that conventional ultrasound might not discover. Occasionally, the blood flow displayed on the monitor is colorized to identify problems (color flow echocardiogram).
- Stress echocardiogram: Sometimes, heart problems that involve the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart muscles, occur while engaging in any physical activity. Your heart’s ultrasound images are taken before and instantly after riding a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill, during a stress echocardiogram. If you're not able to exercise, your doctor may suggest an injection of a particular medication that makes your heart pump as hard as if you are exercising.
Stress Test / Treadmill Test (TMT)
A stress test or exercise stress test is designed to gather information about how your heart functions during physical activities. Since exercise or physical activities can make your heart pump harder and faster than usual, an exercise stress test can identify irregularities in your heart that might not be observable in a different way.
Usually, an exercise stress test consists walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle while your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rhythm are monitored.
Sometimes, PrimaCare’s cardiology doctor in Dubai may suggest an exercise stress test if he doubts the patient has arrhythmia (an irregular heart rhythm) or coronary artery disease. Exercise stress test will also be recommended by the doctor to properly navigate the treatment if the patient is already diagnosed with a heart condition.
The Importance of Stress Test/TMT
A specialist cardiologist may recommend a stress test for the below-mentioned reasons:
- For the diagnosis of coronary artery disease: Coronary arteries are the main blood vessels supplying the heart with oxygens, nutrients, and blood. Coronary artery diseases develop when these arteries get damaged or diseased; mostly because of a development of deposits including cholesterol and other substances, such as plaques.
- For the diagnosis of heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias): Generally, heart arrhythmias develops when the electrical impulses that regulate the heart rhythm fail to perform correctly, making the heart beat faster, very slowly, or unevenly.
- For accurately guiding the treatment of heart disorders: If you're diagnosed with a heart condition, an exercise stress test might help your cardiologist check how goo the treatment is going on. It may also be useful in helping the establishment of a proper treatment plan for you by evaluating the level of exercise your heart can manage.
In some instances, a stress test can be used to help decide the timing of a surgery like a valve replacement. However, in some patients with heart disorders, results of a stress test may help the cardiologist assess the requirement for heart transplantation or other advanced treatments.
Doctors may also suggest a test with imaging, including a nuclear stress test if a regular exercise stress test fails to diagnose the cause of symptoms.
An exercise stress test is usually considered as reliable and safe with rare complications, but, as with any other medical procedure, it may carry a risk of complexity.
The possible complications include:
- Low blood pressure: There is a chance of dropping your blood pressure during or after exercise, probably making you fatigued and this should be resolved once you're done with exercising.
- Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias): Arrhythmias caused by an exercise stress test normally goes away soon after you stop doing exercise.
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction): Even though exceptionally rare, it is quite possible that a stress test could cause a heart attack.