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Diagnostic Services

Lourdes Cardiology is pleased to provide one of the region’s most comprehensive and sophisticated cardiac testing facilities. Staffed by board-certified heart specialists, experienced radiologists, and skilled medical technicians–and equipped with the latest technologies–these services enable the Lourdes Cardiology staff to explore and analyze heart function and detect even mild cardiac irregularities. In addition to  diagnostic cardiac catheterization, the institute takes full advantage for patients of these diagnostic strategies:

Stress Testing

In stress testing, treadmills, stationary bicycles and medications increase the patient’s heart activity so that physicians can identify functional coronary artery disease. The testing also helps the staff to detect and evaluate any arrhythmias that may be brought on by exertion. This kind of testing is also useful in determining the effectiveness of current medical treatment or prior surgical procedures and in assessing the safety of a patient’s involvement in an exercise program.

Nuclear Scanning

The nuclear medicine staff works in conjunction with the exercise-testing laboratory to provide increased accuracy in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the patient during stress testing, and the heart is scanned to determine whether blood is evenly distributed to all segments of the heart muscle. Scanning also helps physicians determine the strength of the heart by a technique that traces radioactive material as it passes through the chambers of the heart.

A nuclear-medicine stress perfusion image shows blood flow in heart walls.
(Image courtesy Vasomedical, Inc.)


Our echocardiographers use sophisticated ultrasound equipment that enable our staff to assess heart structures, including the walls, chambers and valves. Using Doppler color flow techniques, they can evaluate blood flow through the heart and identify abnormal flow patterns. For patients who need a high-resolution echocardiogram, the specialized team can advance an ultrasound probe along the esophagus for ultrasound imaging from the interior of the body. Echocardiography is also routinely performed in conjunction with cardiac stress testing.

Intravascular Ultrasound

Continuing to define the state of the science in cardiac evaluation, our interventional specialists use catheters tipped with tiny ultrasound devices. In the catheterization lab, this intravascular ultrasound technology allows the cardiologists to visualize plaque in coronary arteries and to inspect the status of coronary stents after placement to determine if the stents are fully expanded, are conformed to the vessel wall and are maintaining a proper opening in the vessel.

Intravascular ultrasonogram of a coronary artery.
(Image courtesy Boston Scientific © All rights reserved)

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