Heart Diagnostic Services at Jupiter Medical Center

If you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease, or you have risk factors for heart disease, getting an evaluation of your heart health is essential. Jupiter Medical Center’s Heart & Vascular Institute offers comprehensive heart diagnostic services to get you the information you need to make the right decisions for your heart health.

Our experienced cardiac diagnostic team offers a full range of advanced tests and imaging to provide you with a prompt, accurate diagnosis, and treatment recommendations.

Here are some of the diagnostic tests that your doctor may want you to have to assess the structure and function of your heart, and determine the cause of any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Heart Rhythm Tests

12-lead Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An electrocardiogram (also called an EKG or ECG) records the electrical activity of the heart, which controls the heartbeat. During a 12-lead EKG, electrodes are gently placed in 12 locations on the skin of the chest, and typically the upper arms and thighs. Each electrode detects electrical activity from a different position on the heart muscle. An EKG, which takes about 20 minutes, is a commonly used, painless test used in the diagnosis of arrhythmias, valve disorders and heart attacks.

Holter Monitor

Holter monitoring is a continuous EKG recording, usually for a 24-hour period or sometimes longer. Holter monitoring is useful in diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms. The test may be ordered after an EKG in the hospital or doctor’s office has detected an abnormal heart rhythm, or if your irregular heartbeat occurs only at certain times and it isn’t detected during an EKG.

While you are wearing the monitor, three or four electrodes will be attached to your chest. You will be asked to keep a diary and note any activities or symptoms such as palpitations or skipped beats. Jupiter Medical Center’s Cardiology Services offers compact digital recorders, weighing only 2.5 ounces for patient comfort.

Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)

Implantable loop recorders (ILR) are diagnostic devices used to look for the cause of symptoms such as fainting or passing out (the medical term is syncope, pronounced sing-ko-pea) or irregular heart beats, including a heart that beats too fast or too slow. An implantable loop recorder is a small device placed just under the skin of the chest using a small incision and local anesthetic.

Implantable loop recorders may be used continuously for up to three years to monitor your heart’s electrical activity. Your cardiologist may recommend an implantable loop recorder if more information is needed than an EKG or Holter monitor can provide, or if symptoms such as fainting occur infrequently and cannot be detected using shorter-term heart monitoring. The ILR does not interfere with daily activities, including bathing and swimming, as soon as the incision heals.

Your cardiologist may program the ILR to automatically record if your heart rate drops below a certain rate, or when it beats faster than a certain rate. Patients can also activate the ILR when they experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations or fainting, to show the cardiologist exactly what is happening with the heart rhythm during the moments before and after the episode. Patients or their family members can also activate the recorder using a hand-held activator.

Electrophysiology Studies

Electrophysiology studies are used to diagnose the cause of arrhythmias, and to gather information that will help in determining the optimal treatment, which could be medication, catheter ablation, or a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

At Jupiter Medical Center, electrophysiology tests are performed in our advanced electrophysiology lab by cardiologists who have additional specialty training in assessing and treating heart arrhythmias.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to evaluate how your heart responds to physical exertion. Some heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast, or you may only experience signs or symptoms of heart disease when you exert yourself.

  • Jupiter Medical Center offers several types of stress tests, including:
  • Exercise stress tests, during which you will get your heart rate up using a treadmill or stationary bike.
  • Pharmacologic stress tests, an alternative to an exercise stress test that uses a medication instead of exercise to stimulate the heart.
  • Nuclear stress tests, which use a small amount of radioactive tracer along with imaging technology to see how well blood flows through the heart during rest and during strenuous activity.

Tilt-Table Tests

The tilt-table test is designed to determine if fainting or near-fainting spells are due to neurocardiogenic syncope. Neurocardiogenic syncope is a fainting spell that occurs when the body reacts to certain triggers.

During the test, you will be asked to lie quietly on a table. After about 15 minutes, the table is quickly tilted upright to raise the body to a head-up position, simulating a change from a prone to a standing position. Your blood pressure and heart rate are measured before, during and after the test. The test is an attempt to reproduce the symptoms you develop prior to fainting. It is important to tell your doctor or nurse any symptoms that you note. Jupiter Medical Center offers advanced care in the diagnosis, management and treatment of neurocardiogenic syncope.

Heart Imaging Tests

Heart imaging tests allow doctors to visualize the heart, including blood flow, the overall size and structure of the heart, and how well valves and chambers are working. Jupiter Medial Center offers a full spectrum of advanced cardiac imaging technology and testing.

Most heart imaging tests are completely noninvasive, and are conducted while you are resting comfortably using sound waves to produce images of the heart.

There are also specialized, minimally invasive heart imaging tests that may be used if the doctor needs more information, or in preparation for catheter-based procedures.

Noninvasive cardiac imaging tests offered at Jupiter Medical Center include:

  • Echocardiogram, both 2D and 3D.
  • Stress echocardiogram combines an imaging test with a stress test to measure how your heart performs during exercise.
  • Doppler Echocardiogram measures the velocity of blood flow through the heart’s valves and chambers.
  • Color Doppler, an enhanced form of a Doppler echocardiogram, in which color is used to show the direction of blood flow.
  • Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (CCTA), uses contrast dye and computed tomography imaging to examine the coronary arteries. Computed tomography is often referred to as a CT scan or a CAT scan.
  • Coronary Computed Tomography Angiogram (CCTA), uses injection of contrast dye and computed tomography imaging to examine the structure and blood vessels of the heart (the coronary arteries). Computed tomography also produces 3D images of the heart, and is often referred to as a CT scan or a CAT scan, which is also used to examine other internal organs and parts of the body.
  • In certain circumstances, your physician may recommend a minimally invasive imaging test. Tests can include:
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE), in which an ultrasound probe is guided into your esophagus. TEE can help physicians get a clearer look at the heart, because the esophagus is closer to the heart.
  • Intracardiac Echocardiogram, a catheter-based heart imaging test, which uses a catheter to deliver a small transducer (sensor) inside the heart. This gives physicians a real-time view of cardiac structures and blood flow. Intracardiac echo may be used to guide cardiac ablation and other heart procedures.

Learn about the different types of heart images tests offered at Jupiter Medical Center.

Coronary Angiograms in Jupiter Medical Center’s Cardiac Cath Lab

Cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure that uses a small, hollow tube inserted into an artery or vein, usually near the groin, and guided to your heart. Cardiac catheterization is used to diagnose and treat and wide range of heart conditions.

A coronary angiogram is a heart catheterization procedure that uses a specialized X-ray and contrast dye to allow physicians to view live motion pictures of blood flow through the coronary arteries. These images give cardiologists more information to evaluate and tailor treatment options for each patient.

With three cardiac cath labs equipped with the latest imaging technology, Jupiter Medical Center’s highly skilled and experienced cardiac cath lab team offers a comprehensive spectrum of cardiac catheterization diagnostic tests and interventions.

  • Coronary angiograms may be used to:
  • Diagnose coronary artery disease and locate narrowed or blocked arteries causing symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue.
  • Diagnose diseases of the heart’s four valves (tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic).
  • Assess heart muscle function.
  • Determine the need for further treatment, such as angioplasty, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), or other heart surgery.