The Howard University Hospital Heart Center specializes in cardiac catherization as a means for heart testing. Cardiac catheterization, also called a coronary angiogram, checks the blood flow in the coronary arteries, blood flow and blood pressure in the chambers of the heart, finds out how well the heart valves work and checks for defects in the way the walls of the heart moves. In children, this test is used to check for heart problems that have been present since birth.
This test helps determine if you have disease in your coronary arteries, called atherosclerosis. If you have atherosclerosis, this test can pinpoint the size and location of fat and calcium deposits that are narrowing your coronary arteries. Results from cardiac catheterization help determine whether treatment with bypass surgery or percutaneous coronary intervention, such as angioplasty.
Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Electrophysiology
The Howard University Hospital Heart Center uses several tests in the Heart Imaging category in order to determine a patients current condition, and total cardiac health.
Echocardiography is a painless test that uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart.
The test gives your doctor information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart's chambers and valves are working. The test can also detect heart problems in infants and children.
The test can identify areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting normally due to poor blood flow or injury from a previous heart attack. In addition, a type of echocardiography called Doppler Ultrasound shows how well blood flows through the chambers and valves of your heart.
Nuclear cardiology tests safely take pictures of the heart.
During a nuclear cardiology test, a very small amount of radioactive die is injected into a vein. A special camera then takes still images and movies of the heart during rest, exercise or medication-induced stress testing.
These cardiac images help to identify coronary heart disease, the severity of prior heart attacks and the risk of future heart attacks. These highly accurate measurements of heart size and function enable cardiologists to better prescribe medications and select devices for optimal treatment outcomes.
Electrophysiology Study (Heart Rhythm Study)
The Howard University Hospital Heart Center performs standard Heart Rhythm Study to determine the quality of electrical activity in the heart. An electrophysiology study is a minimally invasive procedure which tests the electrical conduction system of the heart to assess the electrical activity and conduction pathways of the heart. The study is used to investigate the cause, location of origin and best treatment for various abnormal heart rhythms or diagnosable arrhythmias --heart rate, rhythm or pulse disorder.