At Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, our experienced cardiac diagnostic team offers a complete range of advanced tests, which are used to assess your heart health or diagnose symptoms.
When your doctor orders a diagnostic test, you can trust our experienced and board-certified cardiology team to provide the expert evaluation and recommendations for the treatment you need, using state-of-the art equipment. With convenient appointment times and quick test results, we’re ready to get you the care you need when you need it. And because we’re part of BJC HealthCare, you’re connected to some of the leading heart specialists in the region, should further treatment be needed.
Some of the cardiac diagnostic tests we offer include:
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a graphic record of the electrical activity of the heart as it contracts and rests. Electrodes attached to the skin of the legs, arms and chest record information about the body. It can be used to diagnose heart conditions such as valve disorders, arrhythmias or heart disease. Some of the EKG procedures at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital include:
A 20-minute procedure records from electrodes attached to 12 different locations on the surface of the body.
24-hour Holter Monitor
This machine continuously records the heart's rhythms for 24 hours through electrodes attached to your chest, through a small monitor that fits in your pocket or small pouch worn around your neck or waist. While you wear the monitor, it records your heart's electrical activity, while you keep a diary of your activities during the day and how you feel. You will return to to the hospital 24 hours later to have the electrodes removed and to return the Holter monitor. Results will be shared with you within 14 days.
Long-term Event Recorder
Your doctor may decide that you need a long-term cardiac event monitor, which is worn for 30 days. This simple, painless procedure has proven to be an effective tool for detecting cardiac problems. During that time, when you feel a symptom, you press a button and the EKG is stored in the monitor’s memory; the cardiac event monitor is easy to wear and operate, and it can be reapplied by the patient after bathing or showering.
An echocardiogram, or echo, is a non-invasive, painless procedure that uses ultrasound to provide pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and surrounding blood vessels. The test enables the technician and physician to evaluate the pumping action of the heart. Our expert team perform two types of echocardiograms. Your doctor will determine which is best for you.
2D Echocardiogram with Doppler
A doppler ultrasound can be used to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves. A high-frequency ultrasound is used to produce a color-enhanced image of the heart. The procedure lasts about one hour.
Transesophageal Echo (TEE)
During a TEE, a transducer is inserted down the throat into the esophagus; the esophagus is located close to the heart, which allows for clear images of the heart. This procedure generally lasts about two hours.
Stress testing provides information about how your heart works during physical stress. Some heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast, and you may not have any signs or symptoms of heart disease when your heart is at rest. During stress testing, you walk or run on a treadmill to make your heart work hard and beat fast. At Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, we offer several methods of stress testing. Your doctor will determine what's appropriate for your condition.
A stress echocardiogram starts with a resting echocardiogram; then you will be asked to walk on a treadmill and at certain intervals, including walking faster and on an incline. Your blood pressure and heart rhythm are monitored throughout the procedure. Additional echocardiogram images are taken as your heart rate increases; the images will show whether any parts of the heart muscle do not work as well as your heart rate increases.
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
For patients unable to exercise on a treadmill for a stress test, a physician may use an intravenous medication called dobutamine, a medication that will stimulate your heart, causing it to beat faster and mimicking the effects of exercise on the heart. As with a stress echocardiogram, we monitor your blood pressure and heart rhythm and take images of your heart as your heart rate increase.
Exercise Nuclear Stress Test
This test is very similar to the exercise stress test, except you will receive a small amount of a radioactive imaging substance such as thallium or sestamibi through an intravenous line. Images of your heart are taken before exercise to show how the substance has flowed through your blood to your heart; after exercising on a treadmill, a second set of images is taken to compare to the resting set of images. The substance can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and areas of damaged heart muscle.
Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Test
If your doctor wants you to have a nuclear stress test but you're unable to exercise adequately, you will receive Lexican, a prescription drug to increase the blood flow to the heart. The doctor then will administer a small amount of a radioactive substance such as thallium or sestamibi through an intravenous line. Images of your heart are taken to show how the substance has flowed through your blood to your heart. The substance can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and areas of damaged heart muscle.