Early detection is key to preventing the serious consequences of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack, stroke, ruptured aortic aneurysm or amputation. Roper St. Francis Heart & Vascular Center offers noninvasive screenings for patients who may not have symptoms but could be at risk for cardiovascular disease. These tests will give your doctor a clear evaluation of your risk to better prescribe preventive treatment and/or lifestyle modifications.
All screenings are done in accredited labs staffed by registered technologists. This controlled environment helps reduce false positives that could lead to unnecessary treatment options. Test results are reviewed by a board certified heart or vascular doctor, then shared with your primary care doctor to assess the level of risk and to select the most appropriate treatment plan.
There are a variety of imaging tests that your doctor may order to get a better view of your heart including a Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan and stress test.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), and can sometimes detect heart muscle damage.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
To screen for an AAA, a doctor uses ultrasound, a test that sends sound waves through your abdomen and converts them to an image on a computer screen. With this picture, your doctor can see if you have an aneurysm.
Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
An ABI is a comparison of the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm using a regular blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device. To determine the ABI, the systolic blood pressure (the top number of the blood pressure measurement) of the ankle is divided by the systolic blood pressure of the arm.
Cardiac Calcium Scoring
Cardiac calcium scoring (also called coronary artery calcium scoring) is a CT scan that detects calcium deposits in the coronary arteries.
An ultrasound is performed to see the plaque in the carotid artery. If plaque is found, it can be removed by surgery or by placing a stent to open the artery.
A stress test is given while a patient walks on a treadmill or pedals a stationary bike to monitor the heart during exercise.