The heart transmits electrical impulses and electrodes on the skin can capture these recorded impulses generated as the electricity travels throught the heart muscle. The heart which has decreased blood supply has lower energy and conducts the electricity in a different way.
During exercise the heart needs more amount of energy and it should work harder and if the heart could be monitored and evaluated during the execise a test might uncover abnormalities in heart function. The patient is asked to walk on a treadmill, to ride a bicycle while simultaneously electrocardiogram is performed. Medications such as persantine, dobutamine and adenosine can be used to stimulate the heart if the heart cannot carry out such difficult tasks.
Ultrasound examination of the heart to evaluate the anatomy of the heart valves, muscles and its function are observed. This test might carried solely or it might be combined with other test such as the stress test.
A radioactive tracer is injected into the vein and that can be used to indirectly assess blood flow to the heart. Technetium or thallium can be injected while a radioactive counter is used to map out how heart muscle cells absorbs the radioactive chemical and how it is distributed in heart muscle cells may help to determine indirectly whether the blockage exists or not. An area with no uptake of radioactive element suggest that the area is not getting the proper blood supply.
Cardiac Computerized Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging:
Using these test the coronary arteries can be evaluated including hoe much calcium is present in the artery walls and whether blockage or narrowing of artery are present.
A thin tube is inserted through an artery in the groin, elbow, wrist into the coronary arteries. Dye is injected to assess the anatomy and whether blockages are present. This is called as Coronary Angiogram.
If the blockage exist it is called as angioplasty and the treatment to dilate the constricted vessel is known as Angiogram, a balloon is positioned at the site of obstructing the plaque.
A stent can be place din the blood vessels to dilate the narrowed blood vessels.
Holter and Event monitors:
These are portabale monitors and records the electrical activity during normal daily activity. A Holter monitor records the heart’s electrical activity for 24 -48 hours. An event monitor record the electrical activity of the heart only at certain times.
During this procedure your doctor might place a piece of heart in the microscope and he might look for the oppurtunities.
The genetic testing might reveals that the cardiomyopathy runs in the family or not.