Prepare for Your Test

Holter/Event Monitor:

A Holter monitor is a device that is worn for 24 to 48 hours and records a patient’s heart rate and rhythm.  The patient should keep a diary of their activities and symptoms during this period.  You will be asked not to remove the monitor or shower during this 24 to 48 hour period.It will take approximately 30 minutes to hook up the recorder and give you instructions.

 

How to prepare: Arrive for your appointment with clean, non-lotioned skin

Echocardiogram:

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound or sound wave test of the heart.  It is used to evaluate the size, thickness, and pumping action of the heart.  It can also help evaluate murmurs, valve problems, or fluid around the heart.

The test is noninvasive, which means no needles, catheters, or dyes are used.  Ultrasound is used to create a picture of the heart, including the blood vessels, valves, atria and ventricles.  Gel is placed on the skin over the area to be studied.  An instrument, called a transducer, is placed on your skin.  Sound waves are transmitted from the transducer.  The sound waves reflect off the tissues and organs to create a picture that can be seen on a screen.  Blood flow through the blood vessels can be heard as the test is being completed.

 

How to prepare: Wear comfortable, two-piece clothing.

Stress Echocardiogram:

A Stress Echocardiogram incorporates a treadmill test along with imaging of the heart utilizing ultrasound (sound waves).  The test will help your doctor determine if there are areas of your heart which do not receive enough blood supply due to coronary artery disease.  Areas of your heart which may have been damaged from a previous heart attack may also be seen.  Ultrasound images will be obtained before and immediately after exercise on a treadmill. During the treadmill, you will be continuously monitored for blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm and ECG changes.
The test takes approximately 1 hour.

 

How to prepare: Treadmill & Stress Echo Instructions

Treadmill Stress Test:

The purpose of this test is to determine how your heart responds to stress and evaluate your cardiovascular status.  You will be asked to walk on a treadmill until you reach a “target” heart rate based on your age.  During the treadmill, you will be continuously monitored for blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm and ECG changes.  The exercise portion of the test usually lasts for 5 to 15 minutes.  You should allow about an hour for the entire test, which includes preparation, the exercise portion, and the recovery period.

 

How to prepare: Treadmill & Stress Echo Instructions

Nuclear Stress Test (Myocardial Perfusion):

A Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Treadmill test uses a radioactive substance (not a dye) to produce pictures of the heart muscle.  The radioactive substance gives off a small amount of radiation which can be seen with a special camera.  The amount of radiation exposure during this test is very small and poses no health risk.  The test will help your doctor determine if there are areas of your heart which do not receive enough blood supply due to coronary artery disease.  Areas of your heart which may have been damaged from a previous heart attack may also be seen.  Prior to the test an IV will be started.  During the rest portion of the test, you will receive an injection of the radioactive substance, and pictures will be taken of your heart.  For the stress portion of the test, you will walk on a treadmill or be given a chemical agent and be continuously monitored for blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm and ECG changes.  You will be given an injection of the radioactive substance during your last minute of exercise.  Following the stress test, pictures will be taken to determine blood flow to the heart muscle.

 

How to prepare: Nuclear Stress Test Instructions

Abdominal/Renal Duplex:

An Abdominal Aorta Duplex uses sound waves to check the circulation to the abdomen. The test is noninvasive, which means no needles, catheters, or dyes are used.  Ultrasound is used to create a picture of the shape of tissues and organs inside your body.  The walls of blood vessels, including any deposits or narrowing, can also be seen.

Gel is placed on the skin over the area to be studied.  An instrument, called a transducer, is placed on your skin.  Sound waves are transmitted from the transducer.  The sound waves reflect off the tissues and organs to create a picture that can be seen on a screen.  Blood flow through the blood vessels can be heard as the test is being completed.

 

How to prepare: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to the test. Wear comfortable, two-piece clothing.