An ECG test (an echocardiogram) is a test used to find out how the heart is functioning. It is a fairly straightforward test that can give a lot of information to doctors so for that reason it is commonly used in hospitals, as well as in clinical trials such as these adaptive phase 1 studies by Richmond Pharmacology.
As well as an ECG test, there are lots of other methods that doctors use to check your heart. Here are a few of them…
X-Ray – An x-ray of your chest will provide doctors with a picture of your heart and lungs, so it is good for getting an overall look at the area if you are having pain there. If you have chest pains, are short of breath or are about to have heart surgery, a doctor will take an x-ray of your chest.
MRI Scan – An MRI scan (MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging) is a way to see a detailed picture of the heart using magnets and radio waves. It isn’t invasive, but you do have to lie still for a while. It can be used to find illnesses such as problems with the muscles in the heart and diseases in the valves of the heart.
Radionuclide Test – These tests use radiation to look at the heart. It is only a small amount and it is safe. There are two forms of this test – a CT scan (computerised tomography scan) and a myocardial perfusion scan. The former may be used if you are having chest pains but there is no clear cause for it when other tests are used. The latter is most often used if you have been suffering from chest pains after being diagnosed with angina.