Heart Testing

Advanced Heart Care

Advanced heart care at Penn Highlands Healthcare begins with the primary care physician who has immediate access to a number of cardiologists and the staff and testing facilities in the Cardiopulmonary Departments at your hospital.

The first step to any diagnosis or care is testing. All four Penn Highlands Healthcare facilities offer a complete range of diagnostic cardiology procedures and test results are read by local, board-certified cardiologists. Testing is provided by registered nurses and registered cardiac sonographers.

Test We Provide

EKGs

Electrocardiograms are also called EKGs or ECGs. It is a simple test that shows and records the heart’s electrical activity, including how fast it is beating, the rhythm, the strength and timing of the beats. It can use up to 12 electrodes taped to the skin on the chest, arms and, sometimes, legs.

It is commonly used in the Emergency Departments, Operating Rooms and other areas to monitor heart beats.

If this test shows anything concerning, other tests are usually performed.

Stress Tests

This test shows how the heart performs while under physical stress. Using EKG equipment to monitor the heartbeat, a nurse will watch and record how your heart acts while walking on a treadmill. As the test progresses, it will get a little harder.

In some cases, patients who cannot walk are given a medication to imitate exercise stress.

Stress ECHOS

This type of test is exactly the same as the Stress Test with the addition of having an ultrasound image taken of the heart before and after exercising. ECHO is short for echocardiography.

Holter Monitors

A Holter monitor is a battery-operated, portable device that measures and records your heart’s activity for 24-48 hours or longer. The size of a cell phone, it has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to the skin. It records the EKG as you go about your daily activities are called ambulatory electrocardiograms

Ambulatory BP Monitors

Ambulatory blood pressure monitors, or ABPM, is a way to record blood pressure readings over a 24-hour period. A patient wears a cuff on his or her arm that records blood pressures every 20 minutes.

Event Monitoring

An event monitor is a portable device used to record your heart’s electrical activity when you have symptoms. It records the same information as an electrocardiogram, or EKG, but for longer durations of time and only when the patient activates it to record.

Veinous Insufficiency Studies

Veinous insufficiency studies are tests that use ultrasound to examine the blood circulation in the legs. During the vascular ultrasound, a hand-held device is placed on the skin over the vein to be examined to show a picture. If the veins are not working effectively, it is difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. Blood can pool or collect in these veins leading to clots.

Tilt Table Tests

Tilt table tests measures how blood pressure and heart rate respond to gravity. It is often used when people don’t know why they feel faint or lightheaded at times.

During the test, the person lies flat on a table and is moved into a vertical position while being monitored for heart rate and blood pressure changes.

Transesophageal ECHOS

Transesophageal echocardiography is a test that uses ultrasounds to get moving pictures of the heart and its blood vessels. Sometimes called TEE, this test can show areas of the heart muscle that are not contracting well because of poor blood flow, injury from a previous heart attack, blood clots and fluid buildup.

This test is different from a Stress ECHO because a flexible tube with a camera is guided down the throat by a doctor and into the esophagus to take pictures behind the heart.

Cardiac MRI

This test is not done in cardiopulmonary areas, but it is a very important heart test for the heart done in the Imaging Department at PH DuBois. It is one of the few hospitals in this part of the state to perform this test.

Cardiac MRI uses a MRI system to look at the heart to see tissue of the heart and its function in real time. Done with a cardiologist present, it shows if the tissue is damaged after a heart attack, if there are conditions affecting the heart’s valves, masses or blot clots inside the heart.

Services We Provide

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