Cardiovascular Tests & Treatments

The following tests and treatments are some of the most common offered by a cardiologist. A cardiologist can offer many other advanced tests and treatments for a wide range of medical problems. If you have questions about specific tests or treatments not listed here, please call (708) 660-INFO (4636) to find a doctor that can help you.

  • Angiogram: An X-ray exam of the blood vessels diagnoses blockages, narrowing or other blood vessel problems.
  • Angioplasty: A minimally invasive procedure in which a balloon is used to open a heart artery that is completely or mostly clogged.
  • Cardiac catheterization: A minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm, groin, or neck and threaded to the heart.
  • Coronary stenting: A minimally invasive procedure in which a small stainless steel tube is inserted into the heart artery to keep it open.
  • Coronary thrombectomy: A minimally invasive procedure using a small suction tube to remove clots in heart arteries.
  • Dobutamine stress echocardiography: An intravenous medication increases the heart rate to a target level prior to imaging the heart with echocardiogram.
  • Echocardiogram: Sound wave impulses evaluate the heart structure and function.
  • Electrical cardioversion: A small electrical shock is applied through the chest wall to reset an irregular heartbeat.
  • Exercise electrocardiogram (ECG): A treadmill test monitors functional capacity, symptoms, ECG and blood pressure response to exertion.
  • Exercise nuclear stress testing: A small dose of a nuclear tracer shows blood flow to the heart before and after exercise.
  • Exercise stress echocardiography: Exercise testing is coupled with echocardiogram imaging of the heart to understand response to exercise.
  • Holter and event monitoring: A small portable electrocardiogram monitor is worn over a period of time to record heart rhythms and evaluate symptoms.
  • Pericardiocentesis: Excess fluid surrounding the heart is drained through a small tube inserted through the lower chest wall.
  • Permanent pacemaker: A device placed under the skin of the chest wall with leads connected through a vein in the upper chest to the upper and lower chambers of the heart (right atria and right ventricle) to provide a steady heart beat.
  • Pharmacologic nuclear stress testing: An intravenous medication used to dilate arteries or to speed up the heart rate prior to nuclear imaging of blood flow to the heart.
  • Placement of a loop recorder: A small electronic device implanted under the skin of the chest wall (without leads in the venous system) to remotely monitor heart beats over time to evaluate symptoms or abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram: An ultrasound probe is advanced into the esophagus to give high resolution images of heart structures.