ECG – Short for Electrocardiogram. This test measures the electrical activity across the heart using patches placed on the skin. A standard ECG uses 12 leads
Echo – short for echocardiogram. This is an ultrasound scan of the heart which allows detailed assessment of the size and function of the heart muscle as well as the heart valves
24 hour to 7 day ECG monitoring. This uses 1-3 leads attached to the body, and is combined with a diary to record times of symptoms. This allows the correlation of symptoms to the heart rhythm.
Exercise tests – the simplest is a treadmill exercise combined with ECG monitoring. Very useful for exercise induced problems. Can also be combined with echocardiography to look at the heart function on exercise.
CT coronary angiogram – This is a CT scan which looks at the heart arteries. Whilst the resolution is not quite as good as an invasive angiogram, it is much less invasive and has less risk.
MRI of the heart – This looks at the heart muscle structure in great detail and can tell us about the presence of scar, swelling and fat infiltration. The pattern of these can tell us more about the underlying cause of heart disease. It can also be useful in some heart valve problems.
Coronary angiogram – an invasive test where tubes are threaded up to the heart and dye injected into the heart arteries. This can be seen on an X-ray machine. This has better resolution than a CT scan. It can be combined with pressure wire measurements or ultrasound of the heart arteries for increased detail. I would refer you to a colleague for this if needed.
Electrophysiology study – this is a test where electrical wires are threaded up to the heart from the veins in the leg to study the electrical system of the heart. This can be useful in slow and fast heart rhythms, and can be combined with ablation treatments if needed
Costs of tests. These are defined by the hospital in which you have the tests and therefore vary and are outside my control. Price-lists are available at the hospital reception.