Heart Studies & Tests
Studies & Tests
Diagnosing heart arrhythmias can be difficult and requires special expertise as well as unique testing equipment. To diagnose the problem, a physician will carry out a thorough physical exam. Taking into account a number of factors, including symptom patterns, the physician will then order specific tests.
Many arrhythmias come and go. The fleeting nature of arrhythmias makes it difficult to actually capture an event during any single test. Sometimes it’s necessary to monitor the heart over time. Sometimes specialists provoke abnormal rhythms in a safe environment to evaluate and diagnose a problem.
Symptoms can be hard to identify. People with arrhythmias may not feel any symptoms, or they may have symptoms that seem unrelated to the heart, such as lightheadedness, fainting or shortness of breath. Cardiac Electrophysiologists conduct special tests to determine if nonspecific symptoms are related to problems in the heart's electrical conduction system or other types of heart disease
Some arrhythmias are caused by factors unrelated to the heart. Medications, metabolic diseases, substances in the environment, diet and stress can contribute to abnormal heart rhythms in people who are otherwise healthy. Specialists take all of these factors into account as they select tests best able to uncover the true cause of an arrhythmia.