Cardiovascular Center: Non-Invasive Cardiology Program

Non-invasive diagnostic testing and cardiovascular imaging at UF Health Jacksonville focuses on diagnosis and follow-up of heart disease by using state-of-the-art technologies. Our heart team experts may recommend a non-invasive cardiology test or procedure to evaluate or diagnose symptoms concerning of heart disease or to follow-up a preexisting heart condition. Some of the symptoms concerning for heart disease include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of legs with water retention

Types of Non-Invasive Cardiology Procedures

There a number of non-invasive cardiology tests designed to help doctors diagnose a heart condition and determine the proper treatment. A team of experienced registered nurses, sonographers and technicians perform tests while attending to keeping patients comfortable and well informed during the test.

  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI, CMRI). Detailed pictures of the heart are taken by using radio-frequency waves and a strong magnetic field. This advanced technology enables physicians to examine the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart and determine the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or by progressive heart disease.
  • Cardiac Multi-Slice Computer Tomography (CT). During a CT scan of the heart and chest, a technician uses X-rays and a computer to capture detailed, three-dimensional images. These scans give excellent detail of the heart structures and help in diagnosis and management of several heart diseases including CAD and Valvular heart disease.
  • Chest X-ray. During a chest X-ray, a technician captures images of the heart, lungs and bones to help doctors determine whether the heart is enlarged or whether there is fluid accumulating in the lungs (an after-effect of a heart failure).
  • Echocardiogram. A small device, called a transducer, is placed on a patient’s chest that emits ultrasound waves that produce detailed images of the heart. These images allow specialists to see the heart’s size, structure and motion to determine the health of the heart. Several types of echocardiogram procedures are available to aid cardiologists in determining the condition of the heart. These include:
    • Exercise Stress Echocardiogram is used to detect and evaluate symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath, in detection of CAD, while pedaling a stationary bike or exercising on a treadmill. The echo images obtained at rest and various stages of exercise help doctors to understand the heart function, in detection of any CAD and to assess a patient’s exercise capacity and symptoms.
    • Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram is a non-invasive stress test reserved for individuals unable to exercise. It detects and evaluates coronary artery disease during rest and when the heart is beating fast. A medication called Dobutamine is administered through an intravenous line to raise the heart rate to the level required with constant monitoring of the heart on EKG and getting serial echocardiographic images to understand the heart response to stress.
    • Two Dimensional and Three Dimensional Transthoracic Echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart to evaluate the structure and functioning of the heart for diagnosis of cardiac disease and abnormalities. The 3D echo visualizes the heart in real time in stunning detail to precisely locate abnormalities in complex diseases.
    • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) and Three Dimensional TEE is used when accurate images of the heart chambers and valves cannot be imaged satisfactorily from outside the chest wall as in a transthoracic echocardiogram.
    • Transesophageal Echocardiography is an ultrasound imaging exam where, after a topical numbing medicine and a sedative is administered, an imaging probe is introduced into the esophagus like in endoscopy. Live images are taken during the study to assess the heart and its chambers, valves and major blood vessels, giving a much clearer view of those structures.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) test records the electrical activity of the heart to help doctors determine rhythm abnormalities or to detect a prior heart attack. The test only takes a couple of minutes, for which a nurse or technologist will place electrodes on the patient’s chest, arms and legs and take readings.
  • Event Monitoring is used to diagnose symptoms that are infrequent or sporadic; however, the monitor is worn for a longer period of time — about 30 days — to monitor heart rhythm and to record symptoms.
  • Holter Monitoring continuously records a patient’s heart rhythm, usually for 24 hours, during typical daily activities. It is especially useful in diagnosing palpitations and detection of abnormal heart arrhythmia. Small conducting patches called electrodes are placed on the chest and attached to a small digital recording monitor that can be carried in a pocket or in a small pouch worn around the neck.
  • Nuclear Perfusion Imaging is performed with exercise or with the use of medication to stress the heart in patients who cannot exercise. Very small amounts of radioactive tracers are injected into the bloodstream, and images of the heart muscle are obtained on a gamma camera, which helps in detection of CAD and in evaluation of heart function.
  • Tilt Table Study determines the cause of fainting spells. During a tilt table study, patients will be connected to an EKG, an oxygen monitor and a blood pressure monitor and then strapped to a bed that is tilted in different directions. Blood pressure and pulse are measured and symptoms are recorded while in various positions. The test is designed to evaluate a fainting spell in a supervised controlled environment and shows how the heart rate and blood respond to changing positions.
  • Treadmill Stress Test monitors the heart rhythm on EKG while a patient walks on a treadmill. The intensity of exercise is gradually increased as symptoms and exercise capacity are assessed. This test is helpful to evaluate symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue, and helps in diagnosis of arrhythmias during exercise and may help in detection of any decrease in blood supply to the heart muscle due to blockage in blood vessels (coronary artery disease or CAD).

Why Choose UF Health for Non-Invasive Cardiology

At the UF Health Cardiovascular Center in Jacksonville, it is all about a patient’s heart and vascular health. Our goal is a thorough evaluation of symptoms by the use of state-of-the-art testing to accurately diagnose and follow-up any cardiac disease. To this purpose, the UF Health Cardiovascular Center, has invested in the most advanced diagnostic equipment to assist our team in determining the best possible treatment plan as quickly as possible. Our highly trained cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and staff provide compassionate and exceptional cardiac care for a variety of cardiovascular diseases.

Jacksonville Non-Invasive Cardiologists

Non-Invasive Cardiology Program Locations

  1. UF Health Cardiac Rehabilitation – Jacksonville

    1st Floor, Tower II
    580 West 8th Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32209

  2. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Emerson

    Suite 120
    4555 Emerson Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32207

  3. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville

    5th Floor, Ambulatory Care Center
    655 West 8th Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32209

  4. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – North

    Suite 3600
    15255 Max Leggett Parkway
    Jacksonville, FL 32218

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