Heart & Vascular Screening & Diagnosis
Access preventative screenings and diagnostic tests at PIH Health that help protect your heart and blood vessels. You’ll receive timely, accurate results so your doctor can recommend the next steps for your well-being.
If you’re at risk of developing a heart or vascular disease, your doctor may recommend a screening test to detect conditions before symptoms appear. Depending on your health history, you may receive:
- Heart disease screening – Looks at your heart, using a calcium score scan, to see if you have an increased risk of heart attack or heart disease
- Vascular disease screening, including:
- Carotid artery disease (CAD) screening – Uses ultrasound to check arteries in your neck for plaque (fat) or aneurysms (weak areas) that could slow blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) screening – Assesses blood flow and pressure in your legs and/or arms, then reviews the finding to determine if there is any artery blockage
Should I Get a Screening Test?
Talk to your primary care doctor about screening tests if your heart and vascular disease risk factors include:
- Family history of heart or vascular disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Inactive lifestyle
- Claudication (leg pain when walking)
Depending on your symptoms or condition, your doctor may recommend an imaging test to show how your heart and blood vessels are working. Imaging tests include:
- Cardiac Catheterization and Angiography – Uses thin, flexible tubes (catheters) which are placed in a heart artery either by entering the femoral artery or the radial artery. Contrast dye is then injected into the coronary arteries which is then viewed in real time on the special x-ray equipment
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Makes detailed pictures of your heart without using radiation
- Duplex ultrasound – Evaluates blood flow in carotid and peripheral arteries as well as veins in the arms and legs to evaluate blocked arteries or blood clots (DVTs)
- Echocardiogram (echo) – Using ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound, this procedure assesses the hearts function and its valves.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan – Uses a small amount of radioactive material and a contrast dye, so your heart and blood vessels are visible on a special camera
Heart Stress Test
You may receive a heart stress test to monitor your heart while you exercise or after you take a medication that mimics the effect of exercise on your heart. Stress tests help your doctor:
- Detect coronary artery disease
- See abnormal heart rhythms
- Determine safe levels of exercise
Heart Rhythm Tests
To check if your heart beats too fast or too slow (arrhythmia), you may receive:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) – Tracks electrical currents that cause your heart to pump to check for heart damage or stress
- Electrophysiology (EP) – Examines the electrical system of the heart to find where the irregular heartbeat is coming from
- Holter monitor and/or Event monitors – Small monitors that you wear which record your heartbeats during your daily activity
Rely on a heart and vascular physician at PIH Health to review your results with you before you leave. You can access your results after your visit through your patient portal.