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Overview of Cardiovascular Tests and Procedures

By Michael J. Shea, MD, University of Michigan Health Systems

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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



Left ventricular function


Multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) radionuclide imaging

Gated MRI

Contrast ventriculography

Coronary artery disease diagnosis and prognosis

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

Magnetic resonance angiography

Coronary angiography

Intravascular ultrasonography

Multidetector CT coronary angiography

Myocardial viability

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

Stress testing (using low-dose dobutamine) with echocardiography

Positron emission tomography (PET)

Gated MRI

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* This is the Professional Version. *