This test uses sound waves to produce images of your heart structure and blood flow. Sometimes to get better information, your doctor may give a small amount of an enhancing agent (contrast) through an intravenous (IV) line. This contrast ECHO is generally safe and well-tolerated. In Dobutamine stress ECHO a medication called Dobutamine (which increases the pumping activity of the heart) is given via an IV line. The response of your heart is assessed by the doctor to gain information about the heart function under stress.
A cardiac CT scan uses x rays to take many pictures of your heart which are combined to create a 3D model of the whole heart. We get a good idea of the left atrium before planning an ablation for atrial fibrillation as well as post-AF ablation for possible complications of narrowing of the blood vessels that enter the left atrium. It is particularly useful in conditions like Sarcoidosis and tuberculosis where it helps document inflammation of the heart muscle. Serial Scans are done to assess your response to the medications prescribed.
Foetal Echocardiogram is done for pregnant women to ascertain any cardiac abnormality in the foetus. This test is similar to an ultrasound allowing us to see the structure and function of your unborn child’s heart. A foetal ECHO is recommended on the suspicion that your foetus has a congenital heart defect or an abnormal heart rate was detected in the standard ultrasound. We can thus detect foetal arrhythmias at an early stage and monitor the response of the abnormal heart rhythm in the foetus to the medications given to the mother.
We use a cardiac MRI scan to look for scars in your heart. The larger the scars (late gadolinium enhancement), the higher the chance of you having abnormal electric currents which may lead to sudden death. This is seen in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. Cardiac MRI can be used to look for scars and structural abnormalities in ventricular tachycardia and to assess the viability of heart muscles before cardiac resynchronization therapy
The Computed Tomography (CT) Angiogram is a less invasive test than a standard angiogram and is used to diagnose the cause of chest pain or breathlessness. It uses a powerful X-ray machine to produce pictures of your heart and its blood vessels to rule out any blocks in them (coronary artery disease). It is of great importance if you are planned for flecainide therapy which is contraindicated in coronary artery disease. You may be given a medicine called a beta-blocker to slow your heart rate during the test.
CARDIAC PET SCAN
Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a non-invasive nuclear imaging test that uses radioactive tracers to produce pictures of the heart. A cardiac PET scan allows us to see how your heart and its tissues are working at the cellular level. It can show dead cells (Scars) from a prior heart attack. Most importantly, it can help in determining if you will benefit from a cardiac procedure as it can identify injured, but still living heart muscle that might be saved if blood flow is restored.