Cardiac diagnostics refers to tests and procedures that are used to help diagnose heart problems. We provide tests for adult patients only with the exception of the 12 lead electrocardiogram (ECG). Tests are provided both for inpatients (people who are in hospital) and outpatients (people whose GP/specialist requires more information or those who may have had a recent hospital admission).
The following tests and procedures are provided at both Gosford and Wyong hospitals:
- exercise stress testing (inpatients only at Wyong Hospital)
- ICD/pacemaker interrogation
- 12 lead ECGs
- 24hour holter monitoring
- cardiac echoes
In addition the following tests are provided at Gosford Hospital:
- Transoesophageal echoes (TOE)
- Pharmacological stress echoes (outpatients only)
You will need a referral from your GP or specialist doctor to access cardiac diagnostics as an outpatient. Please note that referrals for transoesophageal echoes and pharmacological echoes require a cardiologist to screen the referral before an appointment is made. This ensures that the correct test has been requested.
Diagnostic Cardiology reception can be contacted on 4320 3182 (Gosford) or 4394 7518 (Wyong) Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 3.30pm.
Fax: 02 4320 2651 (Gosford)
Fax: 02 4394 7948 (Wyong)
Cardiac tests and procedures
24 hour holter monitoring is a continuous recording of your heart rate and rhythm while you attend to your normal daily activities.
The recording of your heartbeat over a 24 hour period is used to:
- assess the effectiveness of cardiac medication
- detect any irregularity in your heart rhythm that may be responsible for symptoms you have experienced eg: collapse, palpitations or dizziness
12 lead electrocardiogram (ECG)
An electrocardiogram or ECG, as its commonly known, is a tracing of your heart rate and rhythm. This test only takes 10 minutes.
Exercise stress test
We provide treadmill stress tests that require the patient to walk on a treadmill while the speed and incline increases.
This test provides information related to blood flow through the coronary arteries to the heart muscle during exercise and can help to:
- determine if there are blockages or narrowing in the arteries
- evaluate suspected or known coronary heart disease
An echocardiogram, often referred to as an ‘echo’, is an ultrasound test that allows observation of your heart valves and the pumping action of the heart muscle. It helps to:
- evaluates the heart muscle for damage
- identify valvular dysfunction
- provide the cardiologist with measurements of the heart structures
Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE)
This test is a procedure that views your heart from the oesophagus. To enable us to do this a specialised flexible probe is passed down the oesophagus and positioned behind the heart. This procedure is performed by a cardiologist with assistance from a registered nurse and a cardiac technologist as mild sedation is given.
A TOE is used for:
- abnormal heart anatomy
- valvular dysfunction
- infections of heart valves
- blood clots in the heart chambers
Pharmacological stress echo
A stress echocardiogram (XSE) measures your heart’s tolerance to exercise and studies the movement of your heart. Administration of an intravenous medication mimics exercise by increasing your heart rate and the strength of your heart beat.
This procedure is performed by a cardiologist with assistance from a registered nurse and a cardiac technologist and is used to screen for:
- evidence of blocked arteries
- evaluate post bypass surgery and/or angioplasty.