Get timely, accurate information about your cardiovascular health from experts at Palos Health—so you and your provider can plan the best path to care.
Why Diagnostic Tests?
A diagnostic test looks for the cause of symptoms. Your test results can help you and your doctor make choices about how to treat a health condition. They can also evaluate if a treatment is working effectively
Tests We Offer
Diagnostic testing will depend on your symptoms and other factors. Your team will help you understand which test you’re having, how it works, and what it’s used for. Our compassionate staff will help you feel comfortable every step of the way.
You may receive an angiogram to check the health of your blood vessels and heart. Your provider will inject contrast material, which shows up in X-ray images, into the blood vessels. Your test results can show narrowing or blockages in the arteries that lead to your heart.
Produces images of heart arteries and related blockages or narrowing due to plaque buildup, which is an indicator of coronary artery disease.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates detailed pictures using a computer, radio waves (not radiation), and powerful magnetic fields. A cardiac MRI takes photos of your heart to check its structure and function.
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
Uses contrast material to assist with diagnosis and evaluation of blood vessel disease or related conditions such as aneurysms or blockages.
Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)
Uses a catheter to measure blood flow through a specific part of an artery.
An echocardiogram, or echo, uses ultrasound waves to create pictures of the heart while it pumps blood. The test shows your heart’s movement and takes images of its chambers and valves. You may have an echo test to check for or monitor:
- Blood clots
- Enlargement of the heart
- Heart valve problems
- Estimate of heart muscle's ability to pump blood to the rest of the body
During the test, your provider will place a device called a transducer at different angles and locations on your chest which sends out sound waves that you won’t feel.
Another type of echo test used to create images of the back of the heart by passing a lighted ultrasound scope into your esophagus.
An electrocardiogram, or EKG, measures your heart’s electrical activity using sensors called electrodes placed on your chest, arms, and legs. The results of your test can show if you have an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) conduction disturbances and measures the heart's electrical activities.
External heart monitors can collect information about your heart while you do your normal activities, your provider may recommend heart monitoring. The type of monitor that’s best for you depends on your symptoms and other factors.
You may have an exercise stress test or medication administered stress test to see how your heart functions when it’s working harder than usual or to check for blocked arteries. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, you may have:
- Stress echocardiogram – Uses ultrasound imaging to assess how well your heart works before and after you do physical activity
- Nuclear imaging stress test, also called myocardial perfusion imaging – Compares images that show blood flow through the heart during physical activity
Instead of exercising, you may take medicine that mimics the effect of exercise on the heart.
If you do exercise, you’ll walk on a treadmill during your test. A nurse or cardiology technician will place sticky patches (electrodes) on your chest. Wires connect these patches to a machine that records the electrical signal that makes your heart beat. Your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, and breathing will also be monitored.
If you faint or feel lightheaded often, you may have a tilt-table test that monitors your blood pressure and pulse with position changes. During the test, you lie on a table that moves you into different positions. Your care team will monitor your blood pressure and heart rate throughout the test.
Your doctor may suggest a vascular ultrasound to check the circulation (blood flow) in your arms and legs. During the test, a Palos Health technician or other professional will use noninvasive ultrasound technology to look for signs of narrowing of the blood vessels.
An X-ray is in an imaging scan that makes pictures of the inside of the body using a safe, small amount of radiation. You may have a chest X-ray to look for signs of heart disease, lung disease or other abnormalities.
Where Do I Go for My Test?
Your diagnostic test may take place at Palos Hospital in Palos Heights or the Palos Health South Campus in Orland Park.