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Overview of Cardiovascular Tests and Procedures

By Michael J. Shea, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan

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Many noninvasive and invasive tests can delineate cardiac structure and function (see Table: Tests for Assessing Cardiac Anatomy and Function). Also, treatments can be administered during certain invasive diagnostic tests (eg, percutaneous coronary intervention during cardiac catheterization, radiofrequency ablation during electrophysiologic testing).

Tests for Assessing Cardiac Anatomy and Function

Application

Tests

Left ventricular function

Contrast ventriculography

Coronary artery disease diagnosis and prognosis

Exercise or pharmacologic stress testing with ECG, myocardial perfusion imaging, or echocardiography

Myocardial viability

Resting single-photon emission CT (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging

Stress testing (using low-dose dobutamine) with echocardiography

Gated MRI

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