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SCREENING FOR HEART DISEASE

GLOSSARY

WOMEN & HEART DISEASE

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Heart Procedures Glossary

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Myoview SPECT Perfusion: Used for diagnosing ischemic heart disease.This is a type of cardiac imaging study called myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) that uses technetium-99m tetrofosmin as the radioactive tracer. During MPI, the tracer is injected into the bloodstream. The tracer is taken up into the heart muscle and can be measured by taking pictures with a special camera. Previous heart damage and/or areas receiving abnormal blood supply can be identified.

Pacemaker: Used as a back-up to the natural electrical system of the heart or to take over for a failed system. A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin of the chest or abdomen with wires that connect to the heart chambers. The wires sense when the heart is beating abnormally and can deliver electrical impulses to pace the heart.

Single Positron Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT): Used to help diagnose coronary artery disease. This is a type of nuclear medicine imaging study. During SPECT scans, a radioactive material called a tracer is injected into the bloodstream. As the tracer travels to the heart through the blood stream, pictures of the heart are taken with a special camera that can read the energy released from the radioactive tracer. The SPECT scan is able to provide 3-dimensional pictures of the heart to obtain information about heart function and blood supply. It can help determine whether there are blockages in the heart arteries. Sometimes the test is obtained as a series of procedures before and after stress testing.

Stress Echocardiography: An ECHO, as it is also commonly called, is performed at rest and again following exercise to assess heart function and blood supply. This test helps determine whether there are blockages in the heart arteries.

Tilt Table Test: Used to help diagnose reasons for syncope (fainting). During the procedure, you will rest on a table that moves from a lying to an upright position. Blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored as you change position. A drop in either blood pressure or heart rate may signal a heart disorder. If no symptoms are present, a medication may be given which will simulate adrenaline release in the body. The increased demand on the heart and blood pressure from the medication may induce symptoms of fainting.

Treadmill Exercise Test: Used to help determine how well the heart is working. Because some heart problems are easier to diagnose when the heart is at work than at when it is at rest, this test is performed while you exercise. During exercise stress testing, your blood pressure and heart activity are monitored while you walk or run on a treadmill. If you are unable to exercise, medicine can be given to make your heart work harder and beat faster as if you are exercising on a treadmill. During the test blood pressure measurement and an ECG are recorded.

Ultrasonography: Used to create an image of internal organs and structures using sound waves. During the procedure, sound waves are directed at the body through a wand, or transducer. The sound waves bounce off the structures and the returning signals are converted into a video image. The procedure is painless.