As part of a heart health care regimen, you may find yourself in need of cardiac testing. Should this need arise, we can provide these services to our Pittsburgh patients. Talk to your doctor to review your testing needs.

When addressing your cardiac health and specific treatment needs, finding a place for cardiac testing can seem like a daunting task. 

At Genesis Medical Associates, we understand the stresses associated with cardiac care. To help streamline the process, and reduce the associated stress, we proudly offer Nuclear Stress Testing and Echocardiography Testing (Ultrasound services) as part of our services. These services are available at our Cardiology Testing Center, located in the Primary Care Center on Corporate Drive. 

The Genesis Cardiology Testing Center is an accredited Echocardiography Laboratory. It’s also one of the first 1,000 echocardiology laboratories in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico to be so recognized for its commitment to high-quality patient care and its provision of quality diagnostic testing. When visiting our center, you’re truly visiting a source of quality care - something we constantly strive to deliver to every patient.

 

FAQs on Cardiology Testing:

How Will I Know Whether or Not To Visit the Cardiology Testing Center?

Before you ever visit our testing center, you will need to undergo a basic annual wellness exam at one of our other practices. During your wellness exam, your doctor may feel that additional testing is needed specifically for your heart. Testing may include a Nuclear Stress Test, Echocardiogram, or Carotid Artery Doppler Test. Know that your primary care doctor will discuss this need should it arise. Additionally, our primary care offices will help you set up the appointment with our testing center before you leave your general wellness appointment. 

Additionally, our primary care centers staff will help obtain your insurance authorizations and set up your appointment at our Cardiology Testing Center.

What Do I Need to Know about these Testing Services?

Each cardiology testing service is conducted to gather different data points regarding your heart health. Here is some basic information regarding our testing options:

Nuclear Stress Testing: These tests examine the anatomy and function of your heart to track the changes in blood flow during exercise. The test will determine if any severe blockages are limiting blood flow to the heart muscle during physical activity. Stress testing can be conducted with the use of a treadmill and/or medication. (Depending on the type of testing your physician ordered, you will either be exercising several minutes on a treadmill or you will be injected with a prescribed medication over several minutes.) Both types of testing are designed to increase one’s heart rate. A standard test may look something like this:

  • Stage I – An I.V. is inserted into the patient’s arm and a small dose of a (non-harmful) radioactive solution will be injected. A special camera will be positioned close to the patient’s chest to take pictures of the heart. Blood flow to the heart while it’s at rest is evaluated. 
  • Stage II – The patient will either exercise on a treadmill or will be injected with a prescribed medication to increase the rate of the heart. Near the end of the exercise or injection period, the technologist will inject the patient with a radioactive contrast agent. 
  • Stage III – After the heart rate and blood pressure return to pre-exercise/injection levels, a camera will again be used to obtain images of the heart. Comparison of the exercising and resting images will determine whether coronary blood flow has changed.

Echocardiogram: These tests are vascular ultrasounds that use high-pitched sound waves to produce an image of the heart. The sound waves are sent through a device called the transducer, and are reflected off the various structures of the heart. These “echoes” are converted to pictures of the heart that can be seen on a video monitor. An Echocardiogram is generally used to evaluate heart wall thickness and motion, as well as the structure and function of heart valves. This type of testing allows doctors to identify areas of poor blood flow in the heart; areas of heart muscle that are not contracting normally; previous injury to the heart muscle caused by impaired blood flow; or evidence of heart failure, especially in people with chest pain or possible heart failure. An Echocardiogram can also detect a blood clot in the heart and evaluate the heart valves for abnormalities.

Carotid Artery Doppler Test: This is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves to produce an image of the carotid arteries located in the neck. These arteries provide the main supply of blood to the brain. There are four carotid arteries — a pair on each side of the neck. The Carotid Doppler Test can determine if there is significant narrowing or blockage of the carotid arteries that could result in disruption of adequate blood flow to the brain.

What Will Happen After Testing?

A cardiologist, board-certified in Nuclear Cardiology, will interpret the results of your testing and prepare a diagnostic report to share with your primary care physician. Your Genesis physician will then contact you to discuss your results.