Bradycardia testing will begin with a physical examination, a complete medical history and a thorough description of your symptoms. Your Florida Hospital physician may use any of a number of diagnostic procedures to determine if you have bradycardia or another form of arrhythmia.
Electrocardiogram Diagnostic Procedures
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) records the heart’s electrical activity for analysis to determine abnormal heart rhythms and/or damage to the heart muscles. There are three types of EKG that may used to obtain a supraventricular tachycardia diagnosis.
Resting ECG is performed while the patient is lying on his or her back with electrodes attached to the legs, arms and chest. This test takes approximately a minute.
Exercise ECG (stress test) is performed while the patient walks on a treadmill or pedals a stationary bike. As with a resting ECG, this test is performed with electrodes attached to the patient.
Holter monitor is performed over a 24-hour period using a compact, portable ECG unit. A Holter monitor may be used if suspected arrhythmia does not show up on a resting ECG.
Event monitor is set up like a Holter monitor, but the patient activates the ECG recording when symptoms appear.
Mobile cardiac monitoring is set up like Holter and event monitors and is designed to give your physician ongoing recordings of cardiac activity over period of time as long as a month.
Signal-averaged ECG is usually only performed for research purposes, but can be used in a clinical practice. It is performed like a resting ECG, with the patient lying on his or her back. However, this procedure takes between 15 and 20 minutes to perform and is used to detect an arrhythmia that does not appear on a resting ECG.
Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Procedures
Electrophysiologic studies (EPS) entail inserting a thin tube called a catheter into a major blood vessel in either the arm or leg and threading the tube into the heart. Through this catheter, your Florida Hospital physician can use imaging technology to see the heart tissue and discover the location of the arrhythmia.