Types of Tests Cardiovascular Doctor May Recommend

When you visit the cardiovascular doctor, he may recommend a series of tests for preventive cardiology reasons or for diagnostic reasons, Some of the common tests cardiac specialists might recommend are as follows.

Types of Cardiovascular Tests

Carotid Ultrasound

This type of ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to take images of the internal structures of your body. It is usually performed so the doctor can check for artery-clogging plaque that can lead to strokes and other severe complications.


The echocardiogram, or echo, is an ultrasound that sends high-pitched sound waves to a transducer. The different types of echocardiograms are:

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)
  • Stress echocardiogram
  • Doppler echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)

This test might be recommended if the doctor suspects you have problems with the chambers or valves of your heart or heart issues that cause symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath.


Also known as a Electrocardiogram, or ECG or EKG, an electrocardiography test is simple, quick and painless and is used to amplify and record your heart’s electrical impulses on paper. It’s used to diagnosis many different cardiac pathologies including palpitations, syncope, myocardial ischemia and infarction. It’s been an invaluable tool for doctors for decades.

It is often used when a doctor suspects a heart disorder. For older and middle-aged people, it is often used as part of their regular physical exams, even if the doctor doesn’t suspect a heart disorder.  The ECG can pick up various abnormalities including an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), excessive thickening of the muscular walls of your heart (hypertrophy) or an inadequate supply of oxygen and blood to your heart.

Holter Monitoring

This test uses a portable, small device that records your heart’s rhythms continuously as well as records your heart’s electrical activity. The doctor places electrodes on your chest which you wear for 24 to 48 hours so he can record your heart’s activity during this time.

Laboratory Testing

Lab tests (blood tests) are performed for diagnosing and monitoring treatment for vascular and heart disease. Several factors are analyzed with these blood tests. A common set of lab tests performed is the cholesterol or lipid profile. Your customized treatment plan is developed based off of your lipid profile results as well as other tests.

Stress Echocardiogram

This is a diagnostic test the cardiovascular doctor performs for evaluating how strong your heart muscle is while it is pumping blood throughout your body. It uses ultrasound imaging and detects and records any decrease of your blood flow to your heart that is caused by your coronary arteries narrowing. If the health of your heart is questioned or if the doctor needs to evaluate any ongoing cardiac treatment you have, he will use this test.

To schedule an appointment for one of these tests or to learn more about how preventative cardiology can benefit you, contact Premier Heart & Vein Care to meet with a San Luis Obispo cardiac specialist.


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