DETROIT (313) 993-7777|DEARBORN (313) 791-3000|SOUTHFIELD (248) 424-5000

DETROIT (313) 993-7777
DEARBORN (313) 791-3000
SOUTHFIELD (248) 424-5000

Cardiovascular Testing

The experienced and knowledgeable team of cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurses and support staff at the Heart & Vascular Institute remain dedicated to providing patients with the best possible care. In order to properly diagnose and treat your condition, our heart doctors rely on state-of-the-art technology and advanced testing procedures to pinpoint and confirm specific characteristics of each patient’s unique situation.

This precise and detailed approach ensures that our cardiovascular specialists have the information they need to make informed, data-rich decisions regarding your health and treatment.

The information below explains the different types of tests we perform to ascertain detailed information regarding your specific situation so that we can more accurately diagnose and treat your condition.

We currently can perform any of the tests listed below:

Aortic Testing
AortaAorta Scan

An aorta scan is a fast, accurate and non-invasive way to measure the diameter of the abdominal aorta, giving our Detroit cardiologists a good indication of whether a patient has abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition where a part of the aorta begins to swell and may be at risk for bursting, which can be fatal if not treated in time. The scan is painless and requires only a few minutes.

Aorta Ultrasound

The aorta ultrasound test helps our cardiologists visualize blood flow through the aorta, the largeblood vessel located at the top of the heart that delivers blood to the rest of the body.This test is used in patients at risk of having an abdominal aortic aneurysm which occurs when the walls of the aorta become weakened and eventually burst asblood flows through. The test is painless and non-invasive.

Echocardiogram Tests

Echo TestsEcho Ultrasound

An echocardiogram test allows physicians to see movement of the heart muscle inside the body using ultrasound technology — similar to that used to view a developing fetus in the womb. There are a number of different types of echocardiogram — some offer a one-dimensional (flat) view of the heart and others provide a 2D or 3D image. The Doppler echocardiogram allows our cardiologists to measure the flow of blood through the heart and the blood vessels.

Multiple Gated Acquisition Scan (MUGA)

The multiple gated acquisition scan, or MUGA, is a scan designed to determine how well the heart is functioning by producing a moving image of its pumping action. The test is completely non-invasive and is performed by injecting red blood cells with a safe radioactive substance used as a tracer into the patient’s bloodstream. Scientists can then produce an image of the patient’s beating heart with a special camera. The test is very useful in assessing the heart’s functioning in patients with heart failure before placement of a defibrillator and also in patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.


Bio-Z is a breakthrough medical test that allows cardiologists to assess the strength of the heart’s pumping action and the amount of fluid in the chest in a completely non-invasive way. Sensors are placed on the patient’s neck and chest, and the patient must lie still for several minutes while the sensors collect data. The test allows doctors to easily diagnose certain heart conditions and monitor the progress of patients with a cardiovascular disorder.

Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA)

MTWA is a test administered to patients at risk of a heart attack (or who have already had a heart attack) to monitor whether they are at risk of developing a cardiac arrhythmia or other life-threatening problem. After being outfitted with several electrodes on the torso, the patient will be required to walk on a treadmill for a brief period of time to elevate the heart rate. Patients may be required to refrain from taking certain medications the morning of the test, so it’s important to ask a cardiologist beforehand.

Venous & Vein Tests

Venous & Vein Tests


Plethysmography is a lung test that is performed to see how much air your lungs can hold. It’s also known as a pulmonary function test. Plethysmography gives our Detroit cardiologists two measurements that can help he understand how well your lungs are functioning: total capacity, which determines how much air your lungs can hold after a deep breath, andresidual volume, which determines how much air is left in your lungs after you have exhaled as much as possible.

These numbers may be abnormal if your airways are narrowed or blocked in some way, if too much air is left in your lungs after you exhale or if your lungs are unable to expand completely. During a plethysmography test, you will be asked to sit in a small room that looks a bit like a telephone booth. You will be given a mouthpiece to breathe through, and a technician will instruct you on how to breathe at different times.

Venous Plethysmography

Venous plethysmography is a non-invasive method used to studyvascular physiology and pharmacology. The technique is typically combined with intra-arterial drug administration, usually into the forearm vascular bed to assess changes in forearm blood flow. This is an ideal method to assess the local effect of drugs and hormones on peripheral resistance vessels without invoking systemic effects.

Changes in forearm blood flow or volume are measured by a plethysmograph, such as mercury-in-rubber (or silastic) strain gauge or indium-gallium gauge. Venous plethysmography can also be applied to the lower limb, such as the calf.

Vascular & Arterial Disease Testing

Vascular & Arterial Disease Testing

Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)

Our heart surgeons rely on the ankle-brachial index test for patients who are suspected to have or already have peripheral arterial disease in their legs — a condition characterized by a blockage and hardening of the arteries. This specialized test allows our Detroit cardiologists to get a better idea of the severity and progression of the disease. The test measures the blood pressure in a patient’s ankle and compares it to the blood pressure in their arm. Certain other medical conditions — such as calcification of the arteries, diabetes, or kidney problems — may throw off test results, so it is important to talk to your Heart & Vascular Institutephysician before and after the test.


Indications: Arterial testing is a painless and completely non-invasive way to assess blood flow in the limbs. Results analysis can reveal whether a person has uneven blood flow throughout the arms and legs, which can indicate that they have cholesterol buildup in a particular area of the body. Patients may continue with their normal activities both before and after the procedure, but their cardiologist may ask what medications they are currently taking.

Peripheral Angiogram

Also called a peripheral arteriogram, a peripheral angiogram test helps our Detroit cardiologists see blockages in the arteries in the legs by using x-rays. Arterial blockages in the lower half of the body are often related to peripheral artery disease (or PAD), a condition that causes pain or tiredness in the legs. Most patients stay in a recovery room for several hours following the procedure, but can return home later that day. Patients may need to adjust their diet, fluid intake, and medications in the days prior to the test and should discuss alterations with their doctor.

Stress Tests

Stress Test


Cardiac Persantinenuclear stress testinghelps our Detroit cardiologists to assess the width of a patient’s arteries. Persantine is a medication that causes the arteries to temporarily become wider, and healthy arteries will respond to it better than arteries blocked with plaque buildup. There are two portions to the test — a resting portion and a stress portion — and patients should not eat, drink, smoke, or consume caffeine for 12 hours before the test. Patients should also talk to their heart doctor about their medications and whether they are safe to take before testing.


Lexiscan — also called regadenoson) — is a fast-acting stress agent that increases blood flow in the arteries to help our Detroit heart doctors administer certain tests for coronary artery disease. Lexiscan is often used in place of exercise when a patient is unable to walk on a treadmill. Though some patients may feel out of breath or experience headache, nausea or chest discomfort during the test, the effects quickly wear off. Patients should not consume caffeine or other stimulant drugs twelve hours before the test.

Dobutamine Echo

The dobutamine stress echo testallows thecardiologistsat the Heart & Vascular Instituteto examine the functioning of the heart and valves for patients unable to run on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle. The test can be used to tell whether a patient’s heart responds normally to activity and stress as well as determine their risk of having coronary artery disease.Dobutamine is a safe medication that stimulates the heart to replicate the stressput on the heart during exercise. Patients should avoid eating, drinking, or consuming caffeine several hours before the test. It is also important not to smoke the day of testing as well as to avoid certain heart medications 24 hours before the procedure — patients should discuss their medications with their Detroit heart doctor.

Exercise Nuclear

The nuclear exercise stress test helps our Michigan cardiologists assess blood flow to the heart. By injecting a small amount of a safe radioactive substance and tracing its path through the bloodstream, doctors can compare a patient’s blood flow at rest with the blood flow during activity. Patients will be required to run on a treadmill or use a stationary bike for the activity portion of the test. The entire test should take a few hours, and patients who take medications for heart conditions, asthma, or diabetes should discuss their medicine with their Heart & Vascular Institute physician beforehand. Patients should also avoid caffeine for 24 before the test, should not smoke the day of the test and should not eat or drink for at least four hours beforehand.

Non-Exercise Nuclear Stress Test

While a traditional nuclear stress test uses exercise to determine whether patients experience normal blood flow when their heart muscle is stressed, this test utilizes a safe drug to raise the heart rate. It’s suitable for patients who are unable to exercise. The test will take several hours and have several phases, and patients should discuss pre-test care and food intake habits with their cardiologist.

Exercise Stress Echo

This test can help a cardiologist determine how well the heart handles physical activity to asses a patient’s risk of heart disease. The exercise stress echocardiogram test is performed on a treadmill or exercise bike. The patient will be encouraged to exercise sufficiently in order to increase their heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure — usually for no more than 7-12 minutes. Most patients do not feel any ill effects from the test, but it is important for patients to talk to their doctors about their medications and whether it is safe to take them the day of testing. Patients should also avoid caffeine and nicotine the day of the test and should not eat or drink at least four hours beforehand.

For additional information on Cardiovascular Testing , please contact our office or call us toll-free at (855) 543-2783 (855-5-HEARTDOCS).

Copyright © 2018 Heart & Vascular Institute | All Rights Reserved

24/7 ANSWERING SERVICE: (313) 222-0330

Copyright © 2018 Heart & Vascular Institute | All Rights Reserved

24/7 ANSWERING SERVICE: (313) 222-0330

About Our Heart Team

The Heart & Vascular Institute's consortium of award-winning Detroit heart doctors remain dedicated to providing the highest quality of care throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

Cardiovascular Testing

: Aortic Testing
: Echocardiogram Testing
: Venous & Vein Testing
: Vascular & Arterial Testing
: Stress Testing

Cardiac Procedures

: Left / Right Heart Catheterization
: Peripheral Angiogram
: Inferior Vena Cava / removal
: Carotid Venous Angiogram/Stent
: ICD Implant


: 24/7 Emergency: (313) 222-0330
: Detroit: (313) 993-7777
: Dearborn: (313) 791-3000
: Southfield: (248) 424-5000
: Toll Free: 1-(855) 5-Heart-Docs

We proudly serve patients and their families in Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, Livonia, Farmington Hills, Barton Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin, Lake Angelus, Bingham Farms, Orchard Lake, Bloomfield, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, Sylvan Lake, Huntington Woods, West Bloomfield, Northville, Grosse Ile, Pleasant Ridge, Plymouth, Rochester, Clarkston, Lathrup Village, Novi, Troy, Rochester Hills, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Auburn Hills, Wixom and many other cities in the greater Detroit metro area and throughout Michigan