Diagnostic Tests for Arrhythmia
Diagnostic Test list for Arrhythmia:
The list of diagnostic tests
mentioned in various sources as
used in the diagnosis of Arrhythmia
Home Diagnostic Testing
These home medical tests may be relevant to Arrhythmia causes:
- High Blood Pressure: Home Testing
- Heart Health: Home Testing:
Tests and diagnosis discussion for Arrhythmia:
Sometimes an arrhythmia can be detected by listening to the
heart with a stethoscope. However, the electrocardiogram is the most precise
method for diagnosing the arrhythmia.
An arrhythmia may not occur at the time of the exam even though symptoms are
present at other times. In such cases, tests will be done if necessary to find
out whether an arrhythmia is causing the symptoms.
(Source: excerpt from NHLBI, Arrhythmia: NHLBI)
First the doctor will take a
medical history and do a thorough physical exam. Then one or more tests may be
used to check for an arrhythmia and to decide whether it is caused by heart
Tests for Detecting Arrhythmias
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). A record of the
electrical activity of the heart. Disks are placed on the chest and
connected by wires to a recording machine. The heart's electrical
signals cause a pen to draw lines across a strip of graph paper in the
ECG machine. The doctor studies the shapes of these lines to check for
any changes in the normal rhythm. The types of ECGs are:
- Resting ECG. The patient lies down for a few minutes while
a record is made. In this type of ECG, disks are attached to the
patient's arms and legs as well as to the chest.
- Exercise ECG (stress test). The patient exercises either on
a treadmill machine or bicycle while connected to the ECG machine.
This test tells whether exercise causes arrhythmias or makes them
worse or whether there is evidence of inadequate blood flow to the
heart muscle ("ischemia").
- 24-hour ECG (Holter) monitoring. The patient goes about his
or her usual daily activities while wearing a small, portable tape
recorder that connects to the disks on the patient's chest. Over time,
this test shows changes in rhythm (or "ischemia") that may not be
detected during a resting or exercise ECG.
- Transtelephonic monitoring. The patient wears the tape
recorder and disks over a period of a few days to several weeks. When
the patient feels an arrhythmia, he or she telephones a monitoring
station where the record is made. If access to a telephone is not
possible, the patient has the option of activating the monitor's
memory function. Later, when a telephone is accessible, the patient
can transmit the recorded information from the memory to the
monitoring station. Transtelephonic monitoring can reveal arrhythmias
that occur only once every few days or weeks.
- Electrophysiologic study (EPS). A test for
arrhythmias that involves cardiac catheterization. Very thin, flexible
tubes (catheters) are placed in a vein of an arm or leg and advanced to
the right atrium and ventricle. This procedure allows doctors to find
the site and type of arrhythmia and how it responds to treatment.
(Source: excerpt from NHLBI, Arrhythmia: NHLBI
Conditions listing medical symptoms: Arrhythmia:
The following list of conditions
have 'Arrhythmia' or similar
listed as a symptom in our database.
This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete.
Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause
of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which
include a symptom of Arrhythmia or choose View All.
Conditions listing medical complications: Arrhythmia:
The following list of medical conditions have 'Arrhythmia'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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