If cardiomyopathy is suspected, our heart specialists will take a thorough history and perform a physical exam. Other diagnostic tests may be ordered, including one or more of the following.
Small electrodes are placed on your skin to record your heart’s electrical impulses and rhythms.
A battery-operated, portable, and wearable heart monitor records your heart’s electrical signal for days or weeks to identify abnormal heart rhythms.
Also known as a cardiopulmonary exercise or CPX test, a stress test is an ECG that’s performed while you exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike. This test helps identify causes of breathlessness, measure a person’s exercise capacity, and determine why exercise capacity may be reduced.
An ultrasound probe is moved over the surface of your chest to capture moving images of your heart using sound waves. This allows doctors to determine your heart’s chamber dimensions, wall thickness, shape, valve structures, and overall strength.
A stress echocardiogram is performed while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike, or when a chemical is used to stimulate the heart. Like a traditional stress test, a stress echo helps identify changes in your heart’s function during exertion. In people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, this test may help determine whether outflow obstruction during exercise could be causing symptoms.
Transesophogeal Echocardiogram (TEE)
A thin ultrasound probe is put down your throat and into your esophagus. It uses sound waves to create highly detailed, 3D images of your heart. This test can show the inside of the heart and its valves more clearly that a traditional echocardiogram.
A thin, long, hollow tube is inserted into a large blood vessel and guided through your circulatory system to your heart. A heart catheterization helps measure pressures in the heart and lungs and look for any blockages in the coronary arteries, which supply the heart with oxygen. Contrast dye is sometimes injected so that blood vessels (and any blockages or narrowed areas) appear on X-rays.
CT Coronary Angiography
A contrast agent is injected into a vein in your arm and then a CT scan produces highly detailed 3D images of your coronary arteries to help identify anatomy and blockages. This test can also be helpful to look at other blood vessels in the heart, lungs, and heart valves.
Radio waves, magnets, and a computer create still and moving images of your overall heart structure, heart muscle function, blood flow, and surrounding structures. This test can check for scarring inside the heart muscle walls.
Nuclear Cardiac Testing
Radioactive dye is used during imaging to create pictures of blood flow through your heart. This test may be done while at rest or with exercise. It helps to evaluate overall heart function and blood flow to the heart muscle.