SUMMER/FALL 2012 7
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Just as auto mechanics use diagnostic
tools to find and fix problems with engines,
doctors today rely on a variety of tests
to help diagnose and treat heart disease. Beloit Health System’s Heart and Vascular Center
The cardiologists at Beloit Health System
recommend you talk to your doctor about
your risk factors for heart disease. Your
doctor or cardiologist might recommend any From prevention and screenings to diagnosis and treatment, our expert cardiologist team
of the following tests. at Beloit Health System cares for your heart. For more information, call (608) 364-5205.
Blood pressure reading: An estimated
one in three adult Americans has high
blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart
disease that has no symptoms. Getting your
blood pressure tested is simple and fast. A
blood pressure cuff inflated over your upper
arm is used to measure the force of blood
Dr. Leo Egbujiobi Dr. Maria Taveras Dr. Nadine Thomas Dr. Robert Harner
in your arteries as your heart beats (systolic
pressure) and relaxes between beats
Holter monitor: If your doctor needs to Electrophysiology study (also called an
Cholesterol screening: High cholesterol monitor your heart over a longer span EPS): During an EPS, wires or electrodes
is another major risk factor for heart disease than with a regular EKG, you may need to are inserted in the groin and guided through
that shows no warning signs, so it is wear a Holter monitor around your neck or a catheter to the heart, where they can
important to get a cholesterol screening. waist. This small, battery-operated device monitor the heart’s electrical activity. This
A lipid profile is a blood test that generally works much like a regular EKG machine, can help determine what may be causing an
requires fasting for 12 hours before the test. but is portable and can monitor the heart’s abnormal heart rhythm.
The results show your total cholesterol, electrical activity for 24 hours (or longer time
Peripheral arterial studies: A peripheral
high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” periods) while you go about your normal
arterial study is an ultrasound study
cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (LDL or daily activities.
assessing the flow of blood into your legs
“bad” cholesterol) and triglyceride levels.
Stress test: To find out how well your and is very accurate.
These levels help predict your risk of having
heart performs under physical stress or
plaque buildup that may narrow or block Venous studies and mapping: Using
exertion, you may be given an EKG while
your arteries. ultrasound, we can map and diagram
exercising on a treadmill. Or you may be
venous clots in the upper and lower
Electrocardiogram (also called an EKG given medication that causes the heart to
extremities. This study evaluates the veins
or ECG): An EKG uses electrodes (small work harder and beat faster. This is called a
for the presence or absence of deep vein
adhesive patches) placed on your arms, legs stress test, and it can help doctors discover
thrombosis, and provides information
and chest to monitor the heart’s electrical whether your arteries are supplying enough
regarding superficial veins.
activity. An EKG displays the heart’s blood to your heart
electrical signals and can reveal irregular KNOWLEDGE AND ACTION ARE
Coronary catheterization (angiogram, POWERFUL TOOLS
heartbeats, heart muscle damage and blood
angiography or arteriography): During Knowing your risk factors and following a
these types of tests, a thin, flexible tube is heart-healthy lifestyle can help keep your
Echocardiogram: This ultrasound test threaded through a blood vessel in your heart running at its best. To learn more
changes sound waves into images, allowing groin or arm to your heart. Fluid injected about your heart health, talk to your primary
doctors to view the heart and examine how through the tube allows any possible blood care provider or a cardiologist at Beloit
well it is pumping, as well as look for valve flow problems and/or blockages to be Health System or NorthPointe.
problems and signs of heart failure. viewed on an X-ray.