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CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE

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Published by jefroc
DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES
DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES

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Published by: jefroc on Aug 27, 2010
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CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMCHEST X-RAY
A chest X-ray is aradiologytest that involves exposing the chest briefly toradiationto produce an image of the chest and the internal organs of the chest. An X-rayfilm is positioned against the body opposite the camera, which sends out a very smalldose of a radiation beam. As the radiation penetrates the body, it is absorbed in varyingamounts by different body tissues depending on the tissue's composition of air, water,blood, bone, or muscle.Bones, for example, absorb much of the X-ray radiation whilelung tissue (which is filled with mostly air) absorbs very little, allowing most of the X-raybeam to pass through the lung.
Procedure
Patients obtaining a chest X-ray will often be requested to use an X-ray gown,and extra metallic objects such as jewelry are removed from the chest and/or neckareas. These objects can block X-ray penetration, making the result less accurate.Patients may be asked to take a deep breath and hold it during the chest X-ray in order to inflate the lungs to their maximum, which increases the visibility of different tissueswithin the chest.The chest X-ray procedure often involves a view from the back to the front of thebody as well as a view from the side. The view from the side is called a lateral chest X-ray. Occasionally, different angles are added in order for the radiologistto interpret certain specific areas of the chest.The radiology technologist or technician is a trained, certified assistant to theradiologist who will help the patient during the X-ray and actually perform the X-ray testprocedure. After the chest X-ray is taken and recorded on the X-ray film, the film isplaced into a developing machine, and this picture (which is essentially a photographicnegative) is examined and interpreted by the radiologist.
 
ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (ECG)
The electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a noninvasive test that is used to reflectunderlying heart conditions by measuring the electrical activity of the heart. Bypositioning leads (electrical sensing devices) on the body in standardized locations,information about many heart conditions can be learned by looking for characteristicpatterns on the EKG.EKG leads are attached to the body while the patient lies flat on a bed or table.Leads are attached to each extremity (four total) and to six pre-defined positions on thefront of the chest. A small amount of gel is applied to the skin, which allows the electricalimpulses of the heart to be more easily transmitted to the EKG leads. The leads areattached by small suction cups, Velcro straps, or by small adhesive patches attachedloosely to the skin. The test takes about five minutes and is painless. In some instances,men may require the shaving of a small amount of chest hair to obtain optimal contactbetween the leads and the skin.
HOLTER MONITOR
A ‘Holter monitor’ is a continuous tape recording of a patient's ECG for 24 hours.It is worn during regular daily activities under regular clothing.It helps your cardiologistcompare symptoms of dizziness, palpitations or black outs with data gathered on theheart. Holter monitoring is used to detect an abnormal heart rhythm.
Preparation
The only requirement is that the patient wear loose-fitting clothes. Buttons downthe front of a shirt or blouse is preferable. This makes it convenient to apply the ECGelectrodes, and also comfortably carry the monitor in a relatively discreet manner.
Procedure
The chest is cleansed with an alcohol solution to ensure good attachment of thesticky ECG electrodes. Men with hairy chests may require small areas to be shaved. Theelectrodes (circular white patches) are applied to various points of the chest. Thin wiresare then used to connect the electrodes to a small recorder. The tape recorder is slungover the shoulder and neck. The recorder is worn for 24 hours and you are encouragedto continue your daily activities.You will not be able to shower whilst wearing the monitor. You will need torecord your daily activity in a diary noting times of events such as ‘dance class’ or ‘fightwith husband’. You should also record any symptoms you may experience such asskipped heartbeats, chest discomfort, shortness of breath and dizziness.
 
The Holter monitor has an internal clock which stamps the time on the ECGrecording. These can be used to correlate the heart rhythm with symptoms or complaints. After 24 hours, the Holter monitor needs to be returned. This can beremoved by the staff.
EXERCISE TEST TREADMILL
A test (sometimes simply called a treadmill test or exercise test) in which acontinuouselectrocardiogram(ECGor EKG) recording of theheartis made as the patient performs increasing levels of exercise on the treadmill which is tilted to producethe effect of going up a small hill. The patient can stop the test at any time, if necessary.Afterwards the patient has heart and blood pressure checked.
Procedure
The patient is brought to the exercise laboratory where the heart rate and bloodpressure are recorded at rest. Sticky electrodes are attached to the chest, shoulders andhips and connected to the EKG portion of the Stress test machine. A 12-lead EKG isrecorded on paper. Each lead of the EKG represents a different portion of the heart, withadjacent leads representing a single wall.
CARDIAC STRESS TESTING
The exercise cardiac stress testing (ECST) is the most widely used cardiac(heart) screening test. The patient exercises on a treadmill according to a standardizedprotocol, with progressive increases in the speed and elevation of the treadmill (typicallychanging at three-minute intervals). During the exercise cardiac stress testing (ECST),the patient's electrocardiogram (EKG), heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure arecontinuously monitored.

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