Heart & Vascular Diagnostic Services
SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care offers comprehensive diagnostic services that are key to successful patient outcomes. These diagnostic services, available on an inpatient and outpatient basis, use advanced technologies to help us properly identify people who are at risk for heart attacks and heart disease. This enables you and your care team at SSM Health to take preventive measures for maintaining your heart health. Find a provider near you today to get started down the road to a healthier heart.
Types of Diagnostic Testing
Each of our SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care locations can perform a number of diagnostic tests including:
When the heart is injured, cardiac enzymes are released into the bloodstream. Through a series of blood tests, your doctors can measure changes in specific enzyme levels to determine if there is damage to your heart.
The most common non-invasive test for heart problems is an electrocardiogram (EKG), which records your heart’s electrical activity over a period of time. SSM Health in St. Louis was the first to use wireless EKGs and is now available in multiple regions. This technology is more accurate, reduces the risk of infection associated with “reusable” EKG wires and is less cumbersome as you won’t be connected to a heart monitor by wires.
Cardiac Stress Test
A cardiac stress test is an exercise tolerance test. During a stress test, you’ll walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike for a specific amount of time. While you are exercising an EKG machine measures the electrical flow in your heart. This allows your physician to see how the heart functions during physical stress and will help diagnose heart disease, causes of chest pain and coronary artery disease.
This scan uses low-dose radioactive material, given intravenously, to visualize the heart’s pumping action.
An echocardiogram is a painless, non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound waves to help “visualize” the movements of the heart’s valves and chambers on a monitor. This enables your physician to see how your heart is functioning and can be done in conjunction with a cardiac stress test.
This non-invasive procedure uses ultrasound waves to help your doctor see the movements of the heart’s valves and chambers.
Your doctor may ask you to wear a holter monitor, which is a machine that continuously records your heart rhythm. This monitor records your heart rhythm during normal activity over a 24-hour period. Your physician will study the recording for any correlation between your normal activities and changes in your heart’s rhythm.
We offer 64-slice CT technology for CT angiography. The 64-slice CT is considered the most effective tool available for the non-invasive detection and evaluation of coronary artery and vascular disease. It offers detailed, accurate 3D images of your heart that can reveal potential causes of chest pain.
If other diagnostic tests are inconclusive or suggest the presence of narrowed blood vessels, cardiac catheterization may be necessary. Cardiac catheterization is considered the gold standard of verifying the presence of heart disease. During cardiac catheterization, your physician may perform angiography to detect blockages or an electrophysiological study (EPS) to evaluate irregular heartbeats.
The expert physicians at SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care use the latest technologies available to diagnose problems of heart. Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today to access the most comprehensive heart care in the region. With SSM Health you can trust that your heart is in good hands.