St. Alexius Heart & Lung Clinic

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Below are some of the more common tests and treatments for Heart, Lung and Allergy provided by the physicians at the St. Alexius Heart & Lung Clinic.


Cardiology Heart

An angiogram is an x-ray dye test to take pictures of your blood flow in the body. It can show narrowing of the blood vessel, or aneurysms. 
This procedure is done to open a partially blocked artery by compressing the fat and calcium buildup against the artery walls. A stent is often used. When done for the heart, it is called coronary angioplasty.
Ankle-brachial index test (ABI)
The test is done by measuring blood pressure in the ankle and arm while the person is at rest, and after walking on a treadmill for five minutes. Test results may indicate arterial disease.

An atherectomy is a cutting drill method used to open a partially blocked blood vessel to the heart by removing fat and calcium buildup in the artery. This is used in special situations in coronary angioplasty.

Cardiac catheterization and coronary angiogram
This is a test to check your heart and coronary arteries. It is done to find if you have disease in your coronary arteries and if you will need heart bypass surgery or angioplasty.

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is a treatment for coronary artery disease. The blocked portion of the artery is bypassed using a blood vessel that is taken from elsewhere in the body. Blood is then redirected through the new blood vessel.

Drug-eluting stent
See "stent" below.

An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultra sound waves to produce pictures of the heart. It is very useful for heart evaluation in a variety of conditions and situations.

Electrical cardioversion
An electrical cardioversion is used to help the heart return to a normal rhythm by stopping the heart for an instant using direct current (DC).

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
An electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical signals that control rhythm. It measures how the electrical impulses move through the heart.

Electrophysiology is the study of the heart's rhythm and used to diagnose rhythm disturbances in the heart and determine the best treatment options for your heart condition.

Exercise Electrocardiogram
This test checks for abnormalities that occur in your heart while you exercise. The results are compared to your resting electrocardiogram.

A fluoroscopy test uses a steady beam of x-ray to look at different parts of the body. It can be done to see blood moving through a blood vessel, find a foreign object in the body, position a needle for a medical procedure or realign a broken bone.

Nuclear cardiology
Nuclear cardiology is an imaging technique that uses radioisotopes to measure the blood flow to the different regions of the heart. It can assess the pumping function of the heart and the metabolism of the heart.

A stent is a small, coiled wire-mesh tube used to hold open a narrowed or clotted blood vessel. Drug-eluting stents are coated with medicine to prevent return of the narrowing (restenosis).

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
A TEE is performed by inserting a transducer through the mouth and down the throat. Ultrasound waves are sent through the transducer to produce a picture of the heart.

A ventriculogram is done by taking x-ray dye images of your heart to show the movement of your heart, size of left ventricle, how your left ventricle pumps blood and how well blood flows through your heart valves. It is done at the time of cardiac catheterization. 


Pulmonology - Lung

Arterial blood gas (ABG)
An ABG test measures the acidity (pH) and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood to find out how well the lungs are moving oxygen into the blood and removing carbon dioxide from the blood.

Lung function tests
Lung function tests (or pulmonary function tests, or PFTs) determine how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move the air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs put oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from your blood.

Peak expiratory flow (PEF)
A PEF test measures how fast a person can exhale while breathing out as hard and fast as possible. It is used to evaluate the condition of the airways in asthma patients. 



Immunotherapy or Allergy Shots
Immunotherapy is a series of allergy shots given to reduce your sensitivity to allergens that cause a reaction. Small doses of allergens are injected under the skin and over time can decrease the severity of your reaction to allergens. Immunotherpay can be used to treat allergies to insect stings.

Skin tests
Skin tests may be used to diagnose allergies to certain substances. The test is done on the back or the arms. The skin is pricked with one or more small doses of allergens that might cause an allergy. The swelling and redness at each site is measured to see which allergens cause a reaction.