The ankle-brachial index test is a quick, noninvasive way to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD). The disease occurs when narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to your limbs. PAD can cause leg pain when walking and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A cardiology consultation is usually requested by your general internist, family doctor or sometimes another specialist or surgeon when he or she wishes to have a cardiac specialist (cardiologist) use his or her expertise to evaluate you.
Echocardiography, or echo, is a painless test that uses sound waves to create moving pictures of your heart. The pictures show the size and shape of your heart. They also show how well your heart's chambers and valves are working.
The majority of interventional cardiology procedures are performed in the cardiovascular (heart, veins and arteries) system. Most interventional cardiology procedures are considered to be minimally invasive because they do not require an instrument to enter the body or large incisions – most incisions are approximately 1 inch.
In conjunction with a stress test, additional sophisticated imaging of the heart is often also performed, typically by placing a simple intravenous catheter and injecting a briefly radioactive agent that can then produce detailed pictures of the heart's blood supply and function.
A pacemaker is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate or to stimulate the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). A pacemaker may also be used to treat fainting spells (syncope), congestive heart failure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, shows how your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster, an exercise stress test can reveal problems with blood flow within your heart.