Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with the diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Specialists of this field of medicine are called cardiologists or heart doctors. Cardiologists know very well such diseases as congenital heart diseases, hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure and various disorders of the heart valves and electrical conduction. Electrical conduction disorders manifest as heart rhythm disorders (arrhytmias), such as atrial fibrillation. Here is an overview of some of the common procedures cardiologists routinely perform.
ECG or electrocardiography is a method for visualizing the electrical activity of the heart. Electrocardiogram is sometimes called simply cardiogram. Although normal ECG may vary to a certain extent, there are certain norm values based on which the ECG is assessed. ECG is a readily available and fast method, therefore it is often the very first procedure to be performed when a heart disease is suspected. Taking a cardiogram is a quick way to diagnose myocardial infarction and different heart rhythm disorders.
ECG Holter monitoring or simply Holter is a 24-hour ECG measurement. As the device is attached to the body for 24 hours, it enables to register the electrical activity of the heart during everyday life, and during sleep as well. The electrodes (pads) are attached to the chest of the patient similarly to a normal ECG and a small recording device is clipped to the belt. Long-term ECG measurement helps to detect rhythm disorders and electrical conduction disorders that may not be noticed during an ordinary ECG measurement. Holter monitoring is also used for evaluating the efficacy of treatment.
Blood pressure Holter or 24-hour blood pressure monitoring is a similar test. During this measurement, blood pressure readings are recorded continuously for 24 hours. Blood pressure Holter monitoring is used primarily for assessing the severity of hypertension and evaluating the efficacy of hypertensive treatment.
Cardiac stress test
Cardiac stress test is a diagnostic test for assessing the ability of the organism to adapt to different levels of physical load. Cardiac stress test enables to evaluate general physical fitness or load endurance and the suitability and effect of a training program. Besides that, cardiac stress test helps to discover “hidden” cardiovascular diseases (such as heart rhythm disorders that appear in response to physical load), find out the reasons for various bodily symptoms (such as heart palpitations and recurrent chest pain), and evaluate treatment efficacy and general physical condition in patients who already receive treatment. Cardiac stress test is usually performed on a treadmill or veloergometer. The patient’s ECG, heart rate and blood pressure are constantly monitored during the test.
Echocardiography or heart ultrasound enables to visualize the morphology of the heart (chambers and valves of the heart) and to assess its functioning. The latter is evaluated based on the pumping ability of the left ventricle and the contraction ability of the heart muscle, which reflect the heart pump function. Echocardiography is often performed after myocardial infarction to assess the existence, size and location of the myocardial infarction scar. Besides that, after myocardial infarction it is important to assess the extent of heart damage, reflected by the loss of pump fanction. In addition to that, echocardiography helps to ascertain the existence of fluid in the pericard (the pouch surrounding the heart) and detect possible additional structures in the heart.
Echocardiography, or cardiac ultrasound examination, is a painless, highly informative, non-invasive diagnostic cardiac imaging method. By using an ultrasonic sensor, the doctor can observe the structure and functioning of the heart on a screen. The test provides information about the size, shape and pump function of the heart, the structure and function of heart valves, aortic pathology, heart muscle injury after heart attack, and blood clots in the heart cavity.
Electrocardiography is a painless, non-invasive diagnostic method that is used to assess the heart’s rhythm, load and blood supply and to diagnose myocardial infarction (heart attack). The test is based on measuring the electrical impulses generated by the working heart muscle by means of electrodes attached to the patient’s arms, legs and chest.
ECG Holter13 clinics
Holter monitor is a recording device commonly used to keep track of your heart function. The Holter monitor lets your doctor see how your heart functions on a long-term basis (24-hour or longer). It provides information about heart´s rate, rhythm and blood circulation during your daily activities. During the test the ECG sensors with the recorder are placed onto patient’s chest. The device doesn´t limit the patient's daily activities or sleep.
Exercise stress test19 clinics
Exercise stress test with ECG and blood pressure monitoring is a study that allows to observe and describe the effect of exercise on the heart. This test is indispensable for diagnosing stress- and load-related blood supply and rhythm disorders of the heart that are not detectable during usual ECG. To stress your heart during this test, you are asked to walk on a motor-driven treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle (veloergometry).
Holter Blood Pressure (24 hour)14 clinics
Holter monitor is a device for diagnosing hypertension (high blood pressure) and monitoring its treatment. It allows to measure and record blood pressure parameters for 24 hours, showing when and how much your blood pressure and heart rate fluctuate. The device consists of a blood pressure monitor and a recorder that are attached to the body. Holter monitor does not limit the patient's daily activities or sleep.