Heart Imaging Tests

Why Do I Need a Heart Imaging Test?

A heart imaging test, often called a cardiac imaging test, is like taking a picture of your heart. These tests can help your doctor examine how your heart is pumping, if valves are working correctly, blood flow issues, or if there are any abnormalities like growths or holes. 

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of heart disease your doctor may refer you to one of our imaging centers so he or she can get a better understanding of your heart problem. This is part of the expert and comprehensive care we offer at Banner Health to ensure you or your loved one are receiving the best treatment possible.

There are several types of heart imaging tests. Your doctor will decide on the best test for an accurate diagnosis. Testing options may include:

Echocardiography

Echocardiography uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to examine your heart. There are many different types of echocardiograms, such as:

  • Transesophageal – uses an endoscope to pass an ultrasound transducer into a patient’s esophagus
  • Intracardiac – uses a catheter inserted into a vein
  • Doppler or Color Doppler – uses the Doppler effect to determine speed and direction of blood flow
  • M-Mode – primarily used to measure ventricular function
  • 2D or 3D – can display a cross-section or model of the heart
  • Stress ECG – patients move on a treadmill or stationary bike while a doctor monitors your heart

The type of echocardiogram used will depend on what your doctor is looking for.

Is an ECG the same as an EKG?

Yes. Both ECG and EKG are an accepted abbreviation for an electrocardiogram. 

Angiography

What is an angiogram? It is a type of heart imaging that uses an X-ray to look inside the heart. Sometimes called a CT angiogram, this test can show narrowed or blocked areas of a blood vessel. 

Monitoring

Your doctor may want to monitor your heart activity over an extended period of time. In this case, you may be given an ambulatory EKG monitor.

  • Holter Monitor – a non-invasive, wearable device that records heart rhythms for a specific amount of time during daily activities
  • Event Monitor – similar to a Holter monitor but typically worn for 30 days

Banner Health Imaging Centers

If your doctor does order an imaging test, don’t worry – you’re in good hands. Banner Health has several imaging centers with advanced equipment, comfortable amenities, and certified staff. You’ll also find convenient hours, competitive pricing, and acceptance of most insurance plans. Find a location near you