Diagnostics and Testing

Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

The tools used to diagnose heart and vascular disease range from simple to complex. We begin with the most basic tools—good communication, a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Physicians ask about your health history, your lifestyle and whether you’ve experienced symptoms of cardiac disease, like chest discomfort, heart palpitations, shortness of breath or swelling in your ankles and feet. 

If advanced tests are needed, Aurora physicians may perform chest X-rays, lab tests, EKGs, and other tests for further diagnosis. Aurora has state-of-the-art diagnostics equipment to test for cardiac conditions.

The tests help to pinpoint whether your condition stems from problems with the structure or function of your heart, your blood vessels, your heart’s electrical system—or a combination of these. Whenever possible, our goal is to treat not only your signs and symptoms but also your condition’s underlying cause.

Types of Testing:

Learn more about our advanced diagnostics and testing:

1. Autonomic reflex testing (also known as a tilt table test) evaluates the integrity of your autonomic nervous system, which controls your heart and blood circulation.

2. Electrocardiograph (EKG) testing records your heart’s electrical activity. Types of electrocardiograph tests include:

  • Ambulatory monitors
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
  • Exercise Stress Test
  • Head Upright Tilt Test

3. Invasive testing is performed with catheters, long thin tubes that are inserted into your blood vessels and often threaded into your heart. Different types of invasive tests include:

4. Laboratory testing uses comprehensive tests in the lab for diagnostic evaluation of heart disorders. 

5. Nuclear imaging uses radioactive tracers and a special camera to study the structure and function of your heart. There are several types of nuclear imaging, including:

  • Hemodynamic test
  • Multigated acquisition scan (MUGA)
  • Nuclear adenosine stress test
  • Nuclear exercise stress test
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

6. Radiographic testing uses X-rays and other technologies to create images of chest and heart. There are several types of radiographic tests:

  • Chest X-rays
  • Computed tomography angiography (CTA)
  • Electron beam CT scan (EBCT)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography

7. Ultrasound testing of the heart (also known as echocardiography) uses sound waves to create moving images of your heart and blood flow. Types of ultrasound tests include:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram 

8. Vascular testing identifies disorders of the veins and arteries. Vascular tests include: