Tavares: 352.742.1171 Leesburg: 352.323.5700

Noninvasive tests and therapies to diagnosis heart disease

EKG

Many physicians routinely recommend a “baseline” EKG (electrocardiogram) after age 50. EKGs are painless tests that chart your heart’s electrical activity. Electrodes are placed on your chest, arms and legs and are connected to a monitor that reads your heart’s electrical impulses. These impulses are then translated into visual graphs. The patterns on the graphs can tell your doctor whether or not your heart is contracting normally and if disease or damage is present.

A standard EKG is performed to test your heart’s function while you are at rest. Your physician may also want to perform a “stress EKG” (performed while you are on a treadmill) to test your heart’s function under exertion.

Stress tests/nuclear stress tests

Cardiac stress testing is another tool to help the physician assess your heart’s health. Electrodes are placed on your chest and your EKG will be continuously monitored. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill while your physician watches the EKG screen for any changes.

If you are unable to walk on a treadmill, your doctor may wish to induce exertion on your heart with intravenous (IV) medication. As with all heart function tests, your physician will continuously monitor your heart for any electrocardiographic (EKG) changes. Additional pictures of your heart will be taken with a nuclear medical camera. This is a two-part procedure, requiring two sets of pictures (resting and after exertion), and may be performed either all in one day or on two different days. Our Nuclear Stress Test Program is accredited by the InterSocietal Commission for Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories (ICANL).

Echocardiography* (arterial, carotid, thoracic), stress* and transesophageal echo

An Echocardiogram or Echo, is another painless test that uses sound waves to create a visual image of the heart. A small transducer placed on the chest emits sound waves that bounce or “echo” off the heart.

As the sound echoes, it is transferred into visual images on a monitor. The images can reflect structural problems with the heart and its valves. Color and Doppler are utilized to determine blood flow direction and strength through the heart valves.

Your physician may also want to perform a “stress echo” in conjunction with a treadmill test. These tests, often used in conjunction with echocardiography, allowing your doctor to observe your heart function by viewing ultrasound images of the heart itself, before and after exertion.

Cardiovascular Associates’ echocardiography lab is the only one of its kind in Lake and Sumter Counties accredited by the InterSocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories. (ICAEL).

Holter* and event recorder* monitors

A Holter monitor is a device that enables 24-hour, continuous recording of a patient's EKG. Since the monitor can be worn during regular daily activities, it helps the physician correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or blackouts. Because it monitors continuously, the Holter monitoring method is much more likely to detect an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) when compared to the EKG, which lasts less than a minute.

An event recorder is similar to a Holter monitor, except that the electrical activity of the heart is monitored for up to 30 days instead of 24 hours. This enables assessment of heart rhythm abnormalities that are infrequent and may not occur in a 24-hour period.

Pacemaker/AICD clinic*

If you have an electronic pacemaker and/or defibrillator (AICD), it will require some care. For it to work properly, your equipment will need to be checked periodically to find out how it is functioning, how well it is interacting with your heart and battery status.

A typical in-office pacemaker check will include a recording of the electrical activity of both your heart and pacemaker (an EKG). We recommend that you always carry your pacemaker/AICD identification card and keep all appointments with your doctor and pacemaker clinic.

Coumadin clinic* (finger stick)

Coumadin® (Warfarin sodium) is a medication that is commonly referred to as a blood thinner. Other agents used for this purpose include heparin and aspirin. These “blood thinners” are prescribed to prevent clots from forming or growing larger. They do not dissolve clots. The drug Coumadin is often given when a patient has an irregular heart beat (such as atrial fibrillation), a weak wall in her/his heart, an artificial valve or just a tendency to form clots in her/his system (thrombus or emboli).

Because the human body's natural ability to form a blood clot is often done for safety (to stop bleeding after an injury, for example), it is extremely important that the blood's ability to clot is closely monitored. This is done by regular lab tests done in our office. The results of these tests will dictate the patient’s medication dose. For an appointment or more information about our Coumadin clinic, call (352) 742-1171, ext. 605.

Peripheral vascular screening*

Our physicians will ask you a series of questions to evaluate your need for further testing of your peripheral vascular circulation. Peripheral vascular refers to blood vessels outside the heart and brain, including those that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach and kidneys.

Risk-modification lipid clinic*

Cholesterol is a substance produced in the liver that is needed to form cell membranes, nerve coatings and certain hormones. Our bodies usually produce enough natural cholesterol to take care of these needs. We also get cholesterol from the foods we eat, such as meats, egg yolks and whole dairy products.

The higher your blood cholesterol is, the greater your risk of developing coronary artery disease. We offer a finger-stick lipid panel for cholesterol management. For more information, call (352) 742-1171, ext. 605.

EECP treatment*

EECP is an effective, simple, painless and noninvasive outpatient treatment for angina and heart failure. Treatments are usually given for an hour each day, five days a week, for a total of 35 hours. During your treatment, you lie on a comfortable treatment table, with large blood-pressure-like cuffs wrapped around your legs and buttocks. These cuffs inflate and deflate at specific times between your heartbeats. A continuous electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is used to set the timing so the cuffs inflate while the heart is at rest, when it normally gets its supply of blood and oxygen. The cuffs deflate at the end of that rest period, just before the next heartbeat. The special sensor applied to your finger checks the oxygen level in your blood and monitors the pressure waves created by the cuff inflations and deflations.

Microvolt T-Wave Alternans testing*

T-Wave Alternans is a “beat to beat” variation in a portion of your electrocardiogram (EKG or EKG). When visible on the EKG, these electrical variations are associated with an increased likelihood of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats). Most of the time, these T-wave variations are not visible on a standard electrocardiogram.

The Microvolt T-Wave Alternans test permits measurement of the T-waves at a micro-volt level (one millionth of a volt), allowing your doctor to evaluate variations of the T-wave that may have been missed without use of this test.

The T-Wave Alternans test is performed by placing electrodes/sensors at various places on the chest and trunk of your body. Those electrodes are connected to the T-wave equipment by wires. The test will begin with you walking on a treadmill to raise your heart rate. The exercise portion of the test takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes. The equipment collects data about your heart during rest, during treadmill exercise and after the exercise.

Our heart diagnostics patients come to us from Sumter County and Lake County, FL, including The Villages, Tavares, Sorrento, Zellwood, Leesburg and Wildwood. To schedule an appointment, call us at 352.742.1171 (Tavares office) or 352.323.5700 (Leesburg office). For your convenience, you can also fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation with us.

Contact Us

1879 Nightingale Lane, Suite C-1,
Tavares, FL 32778
Call: 352.742.1171 | Fax: 352.742.7241

1879 Nightingale Lane, Suite A-1,,
Tavares, FL 32778
Call: 352.742.1171 | Fax: 352.742-0071

LRMC Medical Plaza,
705 Doctors Court
,
Leesburg, FL 34748
Call: 352.323.5700 | Fax: 352.323.0685