• Cardiac Diagnostic Tools

    • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias), and can sometimes detect heart muscle damage.

    • Stress test. This is also called a treadmill or exercise ECG. This test is done to monitor the heart while you walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike.

    • Transthoracic echocardiogram (echo or TTE). An echo is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to evaluate your heart’s chambers and valves, and how well it pumps. The echo sound waves create a real time image on the monitor as an ultrasound probe is passed across the skin over your heart.

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    Dr. Graham Wong, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC, Acute Cardiac Care, Cardiologist, talks about what a holter monitor is and how it can help diagnose cardiac conditions in a patient.
    Dr. Graham Wong, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC, Acute Cardiac Care, Cardiologist, talks about what a holter monitor is and how it can help diagnose cardiac conditions in a patient.
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    Dr. Graham Wong, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC, Acute Cardiac Care, discusses what an echo cardiogram is used for when diagnosing certain cardiac conditions.
    Dr. Graham Wong, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC, Acute Cardiac Care, discusses what an echo cardiogram is used for when diagnosing certain cardiac conditions.
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    Dr. Graham Wong, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC, Acute Cardiac Care, Cardiologist, talks what a stress test is and how it can help diagnose cardiac conditions.
    Dr. Graham Wong, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC, Acute Cardiac Care, Cardiologist, talks what a stress test is and how it can help diagnose cardiac conditions.
  • What is an Echocardiogram?

    An echocardiogram is an ultrasound that is performed on the heart. It is the same technology as an ultrasound that is used, for example, for pregnancy. Except instead of obviously looking at the uterus, we’re looking at the heart.

                            

    And the purpose of an ultrasound of the heart is to understand the structures, as well as the function of the heart in terms of its pumping function, its relaxation properties, as well as how well the one-way valves work. We can also get other information such as indirect assessment of pressures inside the chambers of the heart, as well as an understanding of the sac that lines the heart.

    The idea of an echocardiogram is it gives us a good understanding of the net effect of all the sub-systems of the heart, on how the heart performs. Well, an echocardiogram is a fairly commonly-used test for cardiologists and for internists, and it is used when there is some question about whether or not someone has an abnormal function of either the cardiac performance, or an abnormal function in one of the valves.

    Common conditions in which an echocardiogram is used to diagnose are conditions in which you’re suspicious that a patient has a weak heart, or if a patient has dysfunction of one of the valves, and you’re considering surgery or some other method to replace or repair that valve. These would be cases in which valves don’t open properly, because of end-stage changes that cause arthritic changes, or conditions which lead to incompetence of the valve, causing regurgitation.

    Echocardiograms should be done in an accredited facility. Mostly they are done in hospitals, but they are private facilities. But ensure that they’re accredited, and they should be overseen by physicians who have special accreditation and/or training in echocardiography.

    If you have any further questions about an echocardiogram, you should speak to your family physician, or potentially even a specialist who performs echocardiography.

    Presenter: Dr. Graham Wong, Cardiologist, Vancouver, BC

    Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

  • What is a Holter Monitor?

    A Holter monitor is a rhythm test, in which we are trying to understand the rhythms of the heart over a 24-hour monitoring period. A Holter monitor is worn by an individual, and the Holter monitor consists of a battery pack, a little computer with a little hard drive, as well as electrode leads that the patient has to put on themselves.

    The Holter monitor is only effective if the leads are actually worn. After a 24-hour period, all of the heartbeats that are generated by the patient wearing the Holter monitor are captured inside the head unit of the Holter monitor. And when it’s returned to the institution that the Holter monitor was picked up from, the information is downloaded and then interpreted.   Often seeing a local family physician or a pharmacist in conjunction with a registered dietitian is a great option to take control of dehydration. In conjunction with healthy eating, exercise and Smart Food Now

    Presenter: Dr. Graham Wong, Cardiologist, Vancouver, BC

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

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