Diagnostic & Imaging Services
We are able to offer the following tests at several of our office locations to help us evaluate how your heart is functioning.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This commonly used test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves. Our Echo Labs are certified by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiogram Laboratories (ICAEL), an independent agency which recognizes the laboratory's commitment to quality testing.
Stress Test (ETT)
A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster than it does during most daily activities, an exercise stress test can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise. The exercise stress test will involve walking on a treadmill while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored.
Stress Echocardiogram Test (Stress Echo)
A stress echo is a test that combines an ultrasound study of the heart with a stress test. A stress echo looks at how the heart functions when it is made to work harder. The stress echo is identical to the stress exercise test, except an echocardiogram is performed before and after you exercise. A stress echo is performed to evaluate the function of your heart (mainly your left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart) when the heart is under stress.
Nuclear Stress Test (Mibi)
A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle both at rest and during stress on the heart. It's performed similarly to a routine exercise stress test, but provides additional images that can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and areas of damaged heart muscle. A nuclear stress test usually involves taking two sets of images of your heart: one set during an exercise stress test while you're exercising on a treadmill or with medication that stresses your heart, and another while you're at rest. A nuclear stress test is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity and at rest. Our Nuclear Labs are certified by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Laboratories (ICANL), an independent agency which recognizes the laboratory's commitment to quality testing.
Our Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory allows patients to be examined using Doppler ultrasound techniques free of the risks and discomforts of injections and/or other invasive procedures. The studies use ultrasound waves to take pictures of blood vessels and blood flow, using a small probe. These tests allow diagnosis of almost all known or suspected vascular disorders, and testing can often determine the severity of the problems and the need for treatment. Most studies take under an hour.
The vascular laboratories in Kenmore and Somerville are accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL). Accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency which recognizes the laboratory's commitment to quality testing for the diagnosis of vascular disease.
A full range of noninvasive vascular tests are available at our Kenmore, Somerville, and Dedham practices including tests for:
- Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
- Cerebrovascular Disease /Carotid Artery Disease
- Deep Venous Thrombosis (blood clots in the veins that can travel to the lungs)
- Renal Artery Disease (circulatory disorders of the kidney)
- Mesenteric Arterial Disease
- Chronic Venous Diseases (such as varicose veins)
- Aortic Aneuryms
- Other Specialized examinations (such as vein mapping)
A holter monitor continuously records your heart rhythm over a 24-hour period while you perform normal daily activities. The purpose of this monitoring is to detect the presence of abnormal heart rhythms, to evaluate the effectiveness of heart medications, to rule out the heart as the cause of your symptoms (such as dizziness, palpitations, fainting spells), or to evaluate pacemaker function.
An event monitor records your heart rhythm for a period of time up to 4 weeks. Recordings are not continuous and are initiated when you press an Event button to signal that you are experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness and/or palpitations. These recordings are transmitted to a scanning service that provides a summary of events and heart rhythm tracings to the physicians for interpretation.