A test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart. It allows accurate measurement of the heart chambers and offers far more sophisticated imaging. The echocardiograph is capable of displaying a cross-sectional “slice” of the beating heart, including the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right ventricles.
- Holter Monitoring
A device for making prolonged electrocardiograph (ECG) recordings on a portable flash memory device. The monitor is usually worn for 24 – 48 consecutive hours during normal activity. Since the recording is done on a continuous basis, Holter monitoring is much more likely to detect an abnormal heart rhythm when compared to the EKG which lasts less than a minute and is administered under controlled conditions.
- Multiple / Serial Electrocardiograms (ECG)
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a recording of the heart’s electrical activity as a graph or series of wave lines on a moving strip of paper. This gives the physician important information about the electrical conduction system of the heart. Many pathological conditions can be identified using ECGs including those caused by genetic, life style, or toxicological etiologies.
- Platelet Aggregometry
Platelet aggregometry is a functional test performed on whole blood or platelet-rich plasma. An agonist (platelet activator) is added to the suspension as a positive control and a dynamic measure of platelet clumping is recorded. ATP release is simultaneously measured using a luminescence marker. The test is used to assess the effects of a study drug on platelet aggregation.
- Pulse Oximetry
The technique is used intermittently or continuously to non-invasively monitor oxygen saturation. A photo detector slipped over the finger measures transmitted light as it passes through the vascular bed, detects the relative amount of color absorbed by arterial blood, and calculates exact mixed venous oxygen saturation without interference from sur¬rounding venous blood, skin, connective tissue, or bone.
Telemetry is a way to send data electronically from one point to another. In the telemetry unit, instruments record electronic data related to each patient. The instruments then send this data to a central area where it can be displayed on monitors for staff to observe. This allows staff to simultaneously monitor the hearts of multiple patients at once. Heart rhythms are continuously measured and data relayed to computers. Specially trained technicians monitor the computers.