Cardiac Testing

Lipid Management

Genetics and lifestyle can affect blood lipid levels. Some people suffer from lipid disorders that are a combination of genetic problems and lifestyle factors. Lifestyle factors that can raise the cholesterol level include a diet high in fat and cholesterol-laden foods, and not exercising, which can lower the level of HDL in the blood.

To diagnose a lipid disorder, a physician tests the amount of lipids in a person’s blood and compares the results to established ranges, which show whether a person’s lipid level is abnormal enough to warrant treatment.

For people at high risk of heart disease or for people who have already developed coronary heart disease, typical target lipid levels are:

  • Total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL
  • Total triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL
  • LDL of less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL of 40 mg/dL or more

To reach these goals, physicians first recommend lifestyle modification, such as reducing dietary saturated fat and losing weight. If lifestyle changes do not lower lipid levels sufficiently, physicians can prescribe lipid-lowering medications, including:

  • Statins
  • Bile acid sequestrants
  • Fibrates
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Event Monitor

An event monitor reads specific events or episodes over a 30-day period. A button is pressed each time you have heart related symptoms. After the 30-day period, your results will be read by our pacemaker clinician and physician.

Steps to prepare for procedure:

  • Check in at front office.
  • We will connect the lead wires and device for heart monitoring.
  • You will need to call the office with your events recorded as instructed by the Pacemaker staff.
  • We will evaluate EKG’s for one month.
  • Follow-up visit with cardiologist will be scheduled in our office to discuss results as needed.

Holter Monitoring

A Holter monitor is an external device you will wear for 24-48 hours. The device monitors heart activity over the designated time frame. This test allows the physician to correlate your symptoms with the actual heart rhythm noted. Your results will be available about three days after they are interpreted.

Steps to prepare for procedure:

  • Check in at front office and then come to the Pacemaker Clinic.
  • We will connect the leads wires and device for heart monitoring.
  • Wear monitor 24 to 48 hours.
  • Return monitor at the requested time to front desk.
  • Follow-up visit with cardiologist will be scheduled in our office to discuss results as needed.

Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An electrocardiogram (EKG) records the electrical activity of the heart. During the test, sticky patches called electrodes are applied to the patient’s chest, arms and legs while lying down. Some hair may be shaved to assure good contact. The patient lies still while a machine records the electrical activity in the heart. The procedure is painless and takes only a few minutes.