Dr. Marlene Williams takes a patient's medical history
before determining the most appropriate diagnostic
Our Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center offers a full menu of the most advanced and relevant diagnostic testing. Each procedure is fully informed by the individual patient’s condition, risk factors and medical history.
Our goal is to make an accurate and fast diagnosis while avoiding unnecessary invasive procedures and emphasizing the importance of healthy life habits whenever possible.
Diagnostic tests we offer:
- Radionuclide stress testing – injects a safe amount of radioactive material into the blood right after exercise. A special camera shows relative degree of health in one part of the heart vs. another.
- Coronary calcium score – uses a CAT scan modified for the heart to non-invasively look for calcium deposits within the coronary arteries. Calcium deposits are a sign of heart attack risk.
- Cardiac catheterization – A thin plastic tube inserted into the heart chambers is used to measure the blood pressures within the heart, and the heart’s pumping ability. When combined with injected dye (angiography) into the coronary arteries, this test can show the severity of plaque in the walls of the arteries.
Learn more about cardiac catheterization from the Heart & Vascular Institute.
- CT coronary angiography – This test is a non-invasive way to show calcium buildup in the walls (a marker of atherosclerosis) and narrowing of arteries that signal coronary disease. It may be recommended for patients with intermediate risk for cardiovascular disease.
Learn more about CT coronary angiography from the Heart & Vascular Institute.
- Cardiac echocardiography (transthoracic and transesophageal) – Cardiac echocardiography utilizes a device that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce images of the heart’s size, structure, and motion. In transthoracic echocardiography, which is often used, the device using ultrasound is held against the chest wall to produce images. Transesophageal echocardiography is employed when a closer look at the heart and its structures is required. While the patient is sedated, the cardiologist passes the ultrasound probe through the mouth into the esophagus to obtain images adjacent to the heart.
- Exercise stress testing and stress echocardiography – A standard stress test that monitors the effect of exercise on an electrocardiogram can show evidence of a blocked heart artery or arrhythmia while you’re elevating your heart rate on a treadmill. A stress echocardiogram can image the function of the heart using ultrasound images before and after exercise. This can show whether a possible blocked artery is affecting the function of the heart during exercise.
Learn more about stress testing from the Heart & Vascular Institute.
- ECG/EKG (electrocardiogram) – Traces the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes at specific locations on the body. Helps physician diagnose arrhythmias or other types of heart disease. Learn more about electrocardiograms from the Heart & Vascular Institute. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/conditions_treatments/treatments/ecg.html
- Electrophysiological testing (EP) – Helps the physician find the origin of an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) within the heart tissue in order to determine the best treatment.
- Holter monitoring – A way to continuously record your heart rhythms during daily activity. Can provide heart rhythm information for disturbances that may be intermittent and not present during a resting ECG in the physician’s office. The patient carries a small device that’s connected by wires to electrodes placed on the chest, which will record the heart rhythm over an extended period of time.
Learn more about Holter monitoring from the Heart & Vascular Institute.
- Cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – A non-invasive way to detect rare heart conditions without radiation by using changing magnetic fields.
Learn more about cardiac MRI from the Heart & Vascular Institute.
Request an appointment
To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, call 410-550-5191.
Read an article about calcium screening and other new imaging tests.