Helpful information about the tests you may be receiving:
Cardiac calcium scoring is a noninvasive CT scan of the heart that evaluates your risk of heart disease by measuring calcium levels that indicate plaque buildup in the arteries. Plaque can begin building up in the arteries before symptoms of heart disease become apparent, so a cardiac calcium score can be used for early detection of coronary artery disease or other heart disease risk factors.
An echocardiogram is a sonogram of the heart. I can provide a wealth of helpful information including the size and shape of the heart, pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage. An echocardiogram can also give physicians other estimates of heart function such as a calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction and diastolic function which is how well the heart relaxes. The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is not invasive which means it does not involve breaking the skin or entering body cavities and has no known risks or side effects.
A stress echocardiogram, also known as a stress echo, uses ultrasound imaging of the heart to assess the wall motion in response to physical stress. First, images of the heart are taken “at rest” to acquire a baseline of the patient’s wall motion at a resting heart rate. The patient then walks on a treadmill or is given a medication to increase the heart rate. Finally, images of the heart are taken “at stress” to assess wall motion at the peak heart rate. A stress echo assesses wall motion of the heart. Ischemia of one or more coronary arteries could cause a wall motion abnormality, which could indicate coronary artery disease. Echo is not invasive and is performed in the presence of a licensed medical professional, such as a cardiologist and a cardiac sonographer.
Myocardial perfusion imaging is a Nuclear Medicine procedure that illustrates the function of the heart muscle. It evaluates many heart conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart wall motion abnormalities. It can also detect regionas of myocardial infarction by showing areas of decreased perfusion. This scan is done in conjunction with a cardiac stress test.
To schedule an exam. call 940-521-5375
Exams are offered certain times and days of the week; can be determined at scheduling time when exam needs to be done.
Joe LaCombe, ARRT (N)
Imaging Directory Radiology
Graham Regional Medical Center