UCLA's team of expert Cardiologists comprise of General and Specialty Cardiologists (Interventional Cardiologists, Congenital Cardiologists, Heart Failures Specialists, Electrophysiologists, and Pediatric Cardiologists). This diverse team may refer you for specific non invasive testing (tests that do not involve surgical intervention) to determine how any symptoms you fhave may be related to your Cardiac (Heart) function. Sometimes simple Cardiac Testing will give excellent clues to your Heart Health and may help your Physician determine if more extensive testing is required.
Non Invasive testing can help identify problems with the Heart's Rhythm (Rhythm irregularities), the Heart's pumping system (Coronary Arteries), the Heart's Structural System (Mitral and Aortic Valves or other structural problems). The Cardiac tests below usually do not require medications however there are some test types that require a medication to further stimulate the heart, or a dye to provide better visualization of cardiac structure and function. When the physician evaluates you he/she will determine what kind of study will best give the information they need to properly identify the source of your symptoms. If a medication is indicated, a Registered Nurse or the Physician will start an IV (intravenous line) to fadminister and monitor the medication for optimal results.
Cardiac testing can also be done in conjunction with Pulmonary testing (Cardiopulmonary stress test also known as CPX) for patients with a certain form of Heart Failure. This test measures gas exchange in your lungs along with your cardiac function during the stress test. The test is very helpful to determine what, if any, respiratory limitations you have during exercise and how well your heart is pumping blood to your muscles. This test is used for both adult and pediatric patients.
For routine cardiac testing (yearly physicals, etc) medications or dyes are not usually used.