INTEGRIS Heart Hospital

Diagnostic and Imaging

Patients with suspected cardiac disease or vascular disorders may receive many types of diagnostic cardiac exams at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital. With specialized equipment, we can precisely located areas of weakness in the heart of vessels with greater ease than ever before.

The EKG Lab is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s here that hospitalized patients and outpatients receive a variety of exams including:

  • EKG or ECG (12 Lead Electrocardiogram)
  • Holter monitor
  • Signal Averaged ECG (SAECG)
  • Stress ECG
  • ECG Computer Network
  • Holter Monitor Computer Network

This is a progressive department that performs tests to help determine the severity of coronary artery disease. Results help identify if arteries are blocked and are causing and inadequate flow of blood to the heart tissues. The department is staffed by nuclear medicine staff technologists and EKG technicians, and conducts many procedures including Myocardial Perfusion Imaging.

What to Expect

A Myocardial Perfusion Imaging procedure generally takes two to three hours to perform. Before the test, the technologist explains to the patient what is involved during the procedure. The procedure involves injecting a radiopharmaceutical, intravenously (through a vein, usually in the arm), and images of the heart are acquired 30 to 45 minutes post (after) the injection. The images are recorded for approximately 20 minutes, with the patient lying down on a scanning table. The first set of images acquired determines blood flow to the heart while the patient is at rest. After these images are recorded, electrodes are placed on the patient to monitor the heart during exercise or stress. A cardiologist, a specially trained doctor in heart procedures, supervises the exercise/stress portion of the procedure. nuclear cardiology technologistThere are two ways to exercise/stress the patient. One is mechanically with a bicycle or treadmill. The second method is pharmacologically (drug induced) with adenosine or dobutamine, drugs that cause dilatation or widening of the arteries. After exercise/stress, the patient waits for another 30 to 45 minutes and another set of images of the heart is acquired. The second set of images determines blood flow to the heart after exercise/stress. After all the images are acquired, data is collected and processed by the nuclear cardiology technologist. The patient's cardiologist interprets the results.

Preparation for the Procedure

Fasting, prior to the procedure, is not required. However, the patient needs to be caffeine free 12 hours before the procedure, which includes decaffeinated products. It is suggested the patient wear comfortable shoes and clothes (preferably with no metals) around the chest area.

The lab is open for procedures on weekdays, with staff on-call and available for after-hours and weekend needs. The ultrasounds technologists have more than 70 years combined experience-assuring our patients of quality tests by skilled technicians. All Echo-cardiography team members have completed and accredited training program or are in preparatory training to take the registry board exams. They’ve also achieved active status in the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in the field of Adult Echocardiography (RDCS). In addition, some team members have achieved active status in Vascular Technology (RVT) and Pediatric Echocardiography (RDCS).

There are several procedures performed in the Echo Lab, including:

  • 2D Echocardiogram
  • Stress Echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
  • Carotid Duplex Ultrasound
  • Duplex Venous Ultrasound
  • Duplex Arterial Ultrasound
  • Complete Ankle-Brachial Index or ABI Workup

An echocardiogram is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the heart's function and structures. During the procedure, a transducer (like a microphone) sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the chest at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the heart tissues, where the waves echo off of the heart structures. The transducer picks up the reflected waves and sends them to a computer. The computer interprets the echoes into moving pictures of your heart walls and valves that can be seen on a video screen.

HeartScan-LinkComputed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays. CT scans may be done with or without "contrast."

Contrast refers to a substance taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous (IV) line that causes the particular organ or tissue under study to be seen more clearly. Contrast examinations may require you to fast for a certain period of time before the procedure. Your physician will notify you of this prior to the procedure. CT scans of the chest can provide more detailed information about organs and structures inside the chest than standard X-rays of the chest, thus providing more information related to injuries and/or diseases of the chest (thoracic) organs.

At INTEGRIS Heart Hospital diagnostic catheterizations are conducted to determine problems with blood supply to the heart and other areas of the body and are usually done after a person experiences chest pain. The procedure will determine narrowing or clogging of the arteries. (Also called: Cardiac Cath, Coronary Arteriogram, Coronary Angiogram) In cardiac catheterization a very small hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin or arm through the aorta into the heart. Once the catheter is in place, several diagnostic techniques may be used. The tip of the catheter can be placed into various parts of the heart to measure the pressures within the chambers. The catheter can be advanced into the coronary arteries and a contrast dye injected into the arteries.