Which Test?

Test Details

There are many ways that we can assess the health of the heart. Below is a brief summary of the cardiac tests available at Perth Cardiovascular Institute.

An ECHO is an ultrasound of your heart, is usually painless and does not involve radiation or x-rays. It produces images of your heart muscle, valves, blood vessels and blood flow.

Preparation

No specific preparation is required. Wear a two piece outfit (or gown), as you will be required to remove your clothing from the waist up.

Duration: 45 to 60 minutes
Medicare Rebate Available
Treadmill

This is a combination of an ultrasound of your heart and a stress test to assess for changes to your heart’s function with exercise. This test is used to assess the likelihood of blockages in your heart arteries. This test involves a treadmill so please wear comfortable clothing and suitable footwear.

Dobutamine

This is another type of Stress ECHO used when the patient is unable to exercise on a treadmill. A drug is used to increase the heart rate in situations where exercising is not an option. An intravenous cannula (IV) is inserted in your hand or forearm.

Preparation

No need to fast, however we recommend that you only have a light breakfast if your test is in the morning or a light lunch if your test is in the afternoon. It is preferable that you do not eat for 4 hours before your test. Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, and soft drinks and that contain caffeine.

Wear a two piece outfit (or gown), as you will be required to remove your clothing from the waist up. A list of your medications is required. You should ask your referring doctor if current medication should be temporarily stopped before the test.

Duration: 60 minutes
Medicare Rebate Available

This is an ultrasound of the heart that is performed via the oesophagus. This test usually provides excellent images of the heart, and gives additional information to a standard echocardiogram. An intravenous cannula (IV) is inserted in your hand or forearm, a sedative and local anaesthetic spray is given to numb the throat.

Preparation

A TOE requires fasting 6 hours prior to the procedure. Diabetics should talk to their doctor about food and insulin intake. A list of your medications is required. Take your usual medication with a small sip of water, unless your doctor has advised otherwise. Wear a two piece outfit (or gown), as you will be required to remove your clothing from the waist up.

You will usually not be able to eat or drink anything for 2 hours after the test and need to organise transport home as you must not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery within 12 hours of this procedure.

Duration: 60 minutes

An ECG (electrocardiogram) is a tracing of the electrical activity of your heart. 12 stickers are placed on the chest and on the limbs, which are then connected to the ECG machine, and a reading is taken.

Preparation

No preparation required. Wear a two piece outfit (or gown), as you may be required to remove your clothing from the waist up. Do not use talc or body lotion on your upper body.

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes
Medicare Rebate Available

Exercise stress test is used to assess the likelihood of blockages in your heart arteries. This test involves a treadmill so wear loose comfortable clothing and suitable footwear.

Preparation

No need to fast, however we recommend that you only have a light breakfast if your test is in the morning or a light lunch if your test is in the afternoon. It is preferable that you do not eat for 4 hours before your test. Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, and soft drinks that contain caffeine.

Wear a two piece outfit (or gown) suitable for walking, as you may be required to remove your clothing from the waist up. A list of your medications is required. You should ask your referring doctor if current medication should be temporarily stopped before the test.

Duration: 30 minutes
Medicare Rebate Available

Ambulatory ECG monitoring provides your doctor with a recording of your heart’s electrical activity over a specific period. There are two types: Holter monitoring and event monitoring. With Holter monitoring, the recording is continuous over a 24 or 48 hour period. With event monitoring, the device is worn for up to 7 days, but only records when you press the event button. You are encouraged to perform normal daily activities.

Preparation

You should shower before the monitor is attached, as you will NOT be able to shower whilst wearing the monitor. The monitor cannot be used in water. An event monitor, however, may be removed when bathing is required. Wear a two piece outfit (or gown), preferably loose fitting as you may be required to remove your clothing from the waist up. Do not use talc or body lotion on your upper body. No other imaging (CT, MRI or x-ray) can be performed while the monitor is attached.

Approximately 15 minutes to attach and 5 minutes to remove. To be left on for the specific recording period.
Medicare Rebate Available

An ambulatory blood pressure monitor automatically records blood pressure over a 24 hours period, taking recording every 30 minutes during the day and every hour during the night. You are encouraged to perform normal daily activities.

Preparation

You should shower before the monitor is attached, as you will NOT be able to shower whilst wearing the monitor. The monitor cannot be used in water. Wear a two piece outfit (or gown), preferably loose fitting especially around the upper arm. Do not use talc or body lotion on your upper body. No other imaging (CT, MRI or x-ray) can be performed while the monitor is attached.

10 minutes to attach and 5 minutes to remove. To be left on for the 24 hour recording period.
Medicare Rebate is NOT Available