Diagnostic Tests

Here at the North London Cardiac Centre, we want our patients to feel at ease when they are in our care. All of our staff are fully trained cardiac physiologists who will explain to you the nature of the diagnostic tests you are about to have. Your consultant will provide you the opportunity to ask questions during consultation to allow you to make a fully informed decision. We strive to deliver the test results to you and your GP within 48 hours or immediately where necessary.

We offer the following diagnostic tests and can arrange further tests on request:

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

The ECG test shows whether there are any signs of a heart attack or other abnormalities in the heart. The test takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. The results will be available immediately.

Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) – Treadmill Test

An exercise tolerance test is an ECG recording taken whilst you are walking on a treadmill. You may experience symptoms of angina during the exercise test. An abnormal exercise test may indicate possible signs of heart disease.

Please allow 45 minutes to complete this test including time for preparation and cool down. Please wear comfortable clothing and a pair of trainers. Changing facilities are available.

Echocardiogram (ECHO)

This test is an ultrasound scan showing the structure of the heart.  It indicates whether the heart is of normal size and thickness and whether the heart valves are functioning properly.

This test takes between 30 to 35 minutes to complete.

The Ambulatory ECG monitor

Ambulatory ECG monitoring consists of the following tests:

  • 24 hour ECG
  • 48 hour ECG
  • 5 day event recorder
  • 7 day event recorder

These tests involve ECG monitoring over a given period of time ranging from 24 hours to 7 days. A monitor the size of a mobile phone is attached to clothing around the waist and attached via three electrodes to the chest. You are encouraged to continue to undertake your normal daily activities. However, you may not have a shower or take a bath, or swim during the monitoring period. We may ask you to record any symptoms that you experience during this time and to also make a note of the times when you went to bed and woke up. You are required to return the monitor promptly at the end of the specified period. Please wear comfortable clothing for these tests.

The Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor (24hr BP monitor)

This test monitors your blood pressure over a period of 24 hours. The monitor is attached to clothing around the waist fitted via an arm cuff around the upper arm. You are encouraged to continue to undertake your normal daily activities. However, you may not have a shower, bath or swim during the monitoring period. We may to ask you to record any symptoms that you experience during this time and to also make a note of the times when you went to bed and woke up. You are required to return the monitor promptly at the end of the specified period. Please wear comfortable clothing for this test.

SCREENING TESTS

BMI

Your BMI will be assessed using weight and height in relation to your age. We may also measure your abdominal waist circumference.

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