Test, scans and investigations offered at Spire Tunbridge Wells Cardiology Clinic
There is a huge range of tests and scans for your heart, and sometimes the number of tests can be overwhelming. The information below helps to explain what you can expect and what the test is looking for.
We may take your blood pressure during your assessment or you maybe given a 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor. This records the changes in your blood pressure by measuring it at intervals over a period of time.
An ECG measures the electrical activity of your heart. Electrodes are placed on your wrists, ankles and chest as you relax. The electrodes are connected to a machine recording all the electrical signals from your heart.Analysis of the results can indicate any damage to the heart muscle. The test may also detect changes in heart rhythm as well as abnormalities in the signals themselves
This is the same as a normal ECG, except that you will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or exercise bike. This helps to assess the blood supply to the muscle of the heart via the coronary arteries, or assesses the heart’s response to exercise.
24/48 hour and 7 day ECG monitoring or event recorder
This is similar to a normal ECG except that the electrodes are connected to a small recording device which you will wear on a belt. It measures the heart's electrical activity and rhythm to track changes over a period of time.
An echocardiogram is a specialised ultrasound scan of the heart that provides a huge amount of diagnostic information about the function of the muscle and heart valves. Your scan can be performed by a Consultant Specialist in this field who is accredited by the British Society of Echocardiography.
Carotid Artery Scan
The ultrasound probe is placed on the neck and moves over the artery to detect the blood flow from the heart to the brain. This test is used to detect narrowing or blockages in the arteries.
This involves the use of special microscopic bubbles that enhance the image quality to provide diagnostic information. It needs to be provided by an appropriately trained team. The echocardiogram then proceeds as normal.
This test assesses the efficiency of the blood supply to the heart using cardiac ultrasound to image the heart working under the stress of exercise or drug induced stimulation. Its is a proven more sensitive technique compared to using the treadmill test alone. At Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital we can perform both exercise and pharmacological stress echocardiograms.
This scan can take high quality images of the heart and its blood supply. It can be particularly useful to rule out cardiac disease in people who are young and would otherwise be at very low risk.