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
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 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 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 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.
Read about the different types of
stress tests offered at Jupiter Medical Center.
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
- 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.
Heart Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which creates vivid, 3D images of your heart. Cardiac MRIs may be performed
with or without contrast dye, depending on what needs to be evaluated.
Cardiac MRIs use magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images.
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
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
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.