ECG (electrocardiogram) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. The heart is a muscular organ that beats in rhythm to pump the blood through the body. The signals that make the heart’s muscle fibres contract come from the sino-atrial node, which is the natural pacemaker of the heart. In an ECG test, the electrical impulses are recorded while the heart is beating and usually shown on a piece of paper. This is known as an electrocardiogram, and records any problems with the heart’s rhythm, and the conduction of the heart beat which may be affected by underlying heart disease.
Echocardiography or echo, is actually colored ultrasound of the heart, a painless test that gives a moving picture of your heart. The test gives information about the size of your heart and how well your heart’s chambers and valves are working. Echo also can be done to detect heart problems in infants and children. The test also can identify areas of heart muscle that aren’t contracting normally due to poor blood flow or injury from a previous heart attack. In addition, a type of echo called Doppler ultrasound shows how well blood flows through the chambers and valves of your heart. Echo can detect possible blood clots inside the heart, fluid buildup in the pericardium (the sac around the heart), and problems with the aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your body.
TMT (TREADMILL TEST)
In TMT, an ECG is done while you are doing exercise. In this test, the patient walks on a treadmill as per the protocol of the test. Most often, it is done in healthy individuals as a preventive check up or in a post myocardial infarction patient. It is a test used to induce provocable myocardial ischemia for diagnostic evaluation of coronary artery disease.
Extremely valuable, Stress echocardiography is a test used to diagnose and evaluate coronary artery disease. The stress echo, combines 2 tests, a TMT (stress test) and an echocardiogram. A stress echo looks at how your heart works. Diagnostically, its value is closer to coronary angiography & it is a very good indicator of myocardial function.
Holter monitoring is continuous ECG for 24 hours, using a special portable recording device called a Holter monitor. Patients wear the Holter monitor while carrying out their usual daily activities. Later, this recorded ECG is analyzed by the cardiologists for a final interpretation.