Advanced Diagnostic Testing
Our licensed technicians can perform the following painless and non-invasive diagnostic tests inside our office.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring uses a special blood pressure cuff and portable recording device to measure blood pressure over a 24-hour period. A medical assistant will hook up the monitor and give you instructions for wearing the device and returning it to our office.
Your blood pressure will be recorded periodically and without warning to eliminate spikes that may be caused by nervousness in a clinical setting. It can also capture blood pressure variability that wouldn't be detected by a single measurement, including nocturnal surges or dips that may be related to cardiac or sleep disorders. The test is painless and silent. The device can be worn during light exercise, but not in a bath or shower.
Cardiac Event Monitor
MCOT (Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry) devices are available to our patients for the detection of abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. Three chest electrodes are attached to a small recorder and pager. Significant abnormal rhythms are noted, recorded, analyzed, and transmitted directly to our staff.
The device can be worn for weeks, including during light exercise, but not in a bath or shower.
We prefer to use an MCOT instead of the 24-hour Holter monitor (see below) in cases where cardiac symptoms or arrhythmias are suspected but don't occur regularly.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurism Screen
An ultrasound technician can perform a simple, non-invasive test without radiation to screen for an abdominal aortic aneurism, a balloon-like dilatation of the abdominal aorta. It is more common in those with heart disease or peripheral vascular disease, in men ages 65-75, smokers, and individuals with a family history of the disorder.
An arterial duplex scan is a painless examination performed in the office by a technician to detect abnormalities in arteries.
A small amount of gel is placed over the artery, and a recording device measures the blood flow. The test is non-invasive, uses no radiation, and is also sometimes used in the treatment of leg pain, ulcers of the extremities, and skin discoloration.
It requires no preparation and only takes a half hour.
Body Composition Analysis
We use the impedance method to perform routine body composition analysis. It calculates your body mass index, basal metabolic rate, lean body mass, and body fat, and it's most accurate in the morning while fasting and before any caffeine has been ingested. The test is simple, painless and takes only two minutes.
A technician can perform a simple bone density test in the office to measure your risk of fracture. It uses extremely low levels of radiation (only a tenth of a standard chest x-ray) to measure the mineral density of your hips, spine, forearm, and wrist. It's painless, requires no preparation, and only takes twenty minutes.
Carotid Duplex Ultrasound
We can perform a non-invasive ultrasound (without radiation) of the carotid arteries around the neck with a handheld recording device to detect plaque or blood clots. The test can also help evaluate the symptoms of memory loss, weakness, abnormal body sensations, and dizziness. It's a useful screening tool for detecting silent plaque or arterial blockage in individuals at risk of a stroke. The test is painless and only takes fifteen minutes.
A diagnostic ultrasound can help us study the abdomen (gallbladder, liver, pancreas), pelvis, kidneys, thyroid, abdominal aorta, kidney arteries, venous duplex, and arterial duplex.
We use state of art x-ray equipment, and only state-licensed technicians are allowed to perform tests. Our facility is overseen and licensed by the American Board of Radiology.
An echocardiogram is a sound wave recording produced by a transducer placed on the skin over the heart. The waves produce a video of the structure of the heart in real time while a combined Doppler produces actual sound.
The test can be administered while you're lying on your side or exercising on a treadmill or exercycle. It is non-invasive and uses no radiation.
EKG, or Electrocardiogram
An electrocardiogram, or EKG, prints waveforms of electrical signals as they travel through the heart. The shapes and patterns on the paper can help us diagnose conditions that lead to heart attacks. They can also reveal abnormal heart rhythms and pauses in the heart rate that can cause dizziness or fainting. I generally interpret the results myself at the time of the test.
A Holter monitor is a portable device that records every heartbeat in a 24-hour period. We use it to detect arrhythmias and other abnormalities that may account for dizziness, palpitations and fainting. Electrical recording leads are placed on the chest wall and attached to a small recording and data storage device.
Exercise Tolerance or Exercise Stress Test
A treadmill exercise tolerance test can be performed in our office by a trained medical assistant with an attending physician. EKG leads will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart as you gradually increase your speed on the treadmill. The test will continue until you reach a predetermined heart rate, symptoms appear, we see abnormal results, or you feel fatigued.
We can use this to detect risk to your heart from coronary artery disease, blockage, or other disorders aggravated by exercise.
You don't have to do much to prepare for the test, but I recommend you wear comfortable shoes, avoid using any oils or lotions that may prevent the EKG leads from sticking, and refrain from eating an hour beforehand.
Intima Media Thickening (IMT)
Intima media thickening (IMT) is a non-invasive test performed by a licensed technician in our office. It's similar to a carotid duplex and uses ultrasound waves to “see” the carotid arteries in your neck and can detect the presence or character of arterial plaque and atherosclerosis in its early stages. It is painless, safe, and takes less than fifteen minutes, but the results won't be available for a couple of days.
Lung Function or Spirometry
A spirometry test, also known as a pulmonary function test, is performed by a technician in the office who records a tracing of your breath on a measuring device. It records the volume of a single breath and the time it takes to exhale. We can use it to detect asthma, emphysema, and restrictive lung disease, and it helps us identify what may be causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest heaviness, and cough. It is painless and only takes a few moments.
Portable Sleep Study
Portable sleep studies can detect sleep apnea and determine what causes snoring and daytime sleepiness. Rather than undergo an overnight laboratory sleep test, we can give you a device to wear for a night or two at home.
Renal Artery Duplex
A renal artery duplex test detects abnormalities in the kidney arteries using a transducer wand to measures blood flow. It can detect a narrowing in the arteries and may help us diagnose renal artery stenosis, certain types of high blood pressure, kidney disease, and abnormal kidney function. The test is non-invasive, painless, uses no radiation, requires no preparation, and only takes fifteen minutes.
A venous duplex scan tests the veins in your arms and legs with ultrasound waves. By measuring the anatomy, blood flow, and valve function we can detect blood clots and other abnormalities. The test is painless and only takes fifteen minutes.