Cardiology is a specialized branch of medicine that diagnoses and treats diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, also known as the cardiovascular system. Denali Healthcare Specialists, conveniently located in Anchorage, Wasilla, and Soldotna, Alaska, provides diagnostic testing, treatment, and ongoing management of a broad range of cardiovascular conditions and disorders. If you need expert cardiovascular care, call the office or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.
What types of conditions do cardiologists evaluate and treat?
The cardiology experts at Denali Healthcare Specialists treat a wide range of cardiovascular diseases and conditions.
Common conditions include:
- Coronary artery disease
- Arrhythmias and heart murmurs
- Transient ischemic attack
- Congestive heart failure
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Thromboembolic disease
- Congenital heart disease
What diagnostic tests are generally performed to evaluate cardiovascular health?
Your cardiologist at Denali Healthcare Specialists may recommend any number of specialty tests to evaluate your cardiovascular health.
Common tests include:
- Tilt table testing
- Nuclear cardiac stress testing
- Arterial Doppler
- Ultrasound of the aorta, carotid, or veins
Your cardiologist will review why you need the test with you and what to expect before it’s performed.
What is electrocardiography?
Electrocardiography (also called an EKG or ECG) is one of the most common diagnostic tests ordered for suspected heart disease. An electrocardiogram records electrical signals in your heart through sensors attached to your chest.
If you have an irregular heartbeat that comes and goes, your cardiologist may require additional testing.
Holter monitor - A Holter monitor is a small device that you wear for 24 to 48 hours to capture heart activity as you go about your usual activities.
Event monitor - An event monitor captures heart activity at certain times for a few minutes at a time. You can activate your event monitor if you have symptoms such as a fast heart rate.
Stress test - If you experience symptoms during exercise, your cardiologist may have you do your ECG while you walk on a treadmill or stationary bike.
Implantable loop recorder - An implantable loop recorder is similar to a Holter monitor, but it’s surgically inserted under the skin in the chest area to monitor your heart for up to three years.
What is echocardiography?
An echocardiography is a noninvasive test that captures two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound images of your heart. This test provides a wealth of information, including:
- Size and shape of your heart
- Pumping capacity
- Location and extent of tissue damage, if any
An echocardiogram can also estimate heart function, including calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function.
Your cardiologist may order a stress echocardiogram if you have coronary artery disease or a myocardial infarction to capture an image of your heart while you’re exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike.
What is tilt table testing?
If you’re experiencing unexplained fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness, your cardiologist at Denali Healthcare Specialists may recommend a tilt table test to determine if the cause of your symptoms is related to your heart rate or blood pressure. There are several ways your cardiologist can perform a tilt table test, such as having you strapped to a tilt table lying flat and then tilting or suspending you upright. The tilt table test records blood pressure, pulse, ECG and sometimes blood oxygen saturation.
What is a nuclear cardiac stress test?
If your cardiologist suspects that you have a coronary artery blockage, you may need a nuclear cardiac stress test. During this test, a small amount of radioactive material (tracer) is injected into your bloodstream and then a gamma camera is used to detect the tracer and generate pictures of your blood flow both at rest and following stress.
If you suspect that you have heart disease, call Denali Healthcare Specialists or use the online booking button to schedule an appointment.