heart testing

An expert diagnosis is critical in determining the best treatment for a heart condition. St. Francis offers both skilled physicians and cutting-edge technology to determine the cause of heart disease and chest pain.

When diagnosing heart conditions, St. Francis constantly looks for the most advanced minimally-invasive technology to allow your physician to arrive at a diagnosis with as little patient discomfort as possible. We have consistently been the first to bring the newest technology to Greenville, including CT Angiography that uses nationally-acclaimed technology. Other times, physicians need information that can only be determined by using a more traditional test. These tests are often require the placement of an IV and a catheter to be inserted into the body and carefully threaded into the heart. Some of the tests available at St. Francis include:

non-invasive and minimally-invasive tests

  • Cardiac Calcium Scoring is a non-invasive procedure that uses CT images to give detailed images from inside the heart to detect a build up of plaque on the coronary arteries. Cardiac Scoring has recently emerged as a useful tool in diagnosing dangerous arterial plaque buildup in patients who do not have symptoms of heart disease. This non-invasive test can view areas of concern, and physicians can then give patients a score that correlates with their risk level of developing heart disease. Cardiac Calcium Scoring usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.
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  • Our state-of-the-art CT Angiography imaging system is changing how physicians diagnose heart disease and chest pain. It helps discover the cause of chest pain in one fast, reliable scan, helping them identify clogged arteries and coronary heart disease with high-definition images of the heart in 3D. These images are combined with cutting-edge computer technology to allow physicians to see the hearts beating motion and areas that have potential blockages. This nationally-acclaimed technology has been featured on national news programs, and was first brought to the Upstate by St. Francis.

  • Enzymes in the blood are clues that can help physicians determine the presence and extent of heart damage. Enzyme tests require only blood to be drawn from the arm, then the results are analyzed.

  • During an Electrocardiogram (ECG), a non-invasive test, electrodes are applied to your chest to record electrical activity in the heart. The electrical activity can help determine the location and extent of heart damage.

  • A Chest X-Ray shows the size and position of the heart and lungs.

  • An Echocardiogram checks the heart muscle by using sound waves.

  • Holter monitors are like portable ECGs, and allow you to record heart activity while at home. 

  • A Multigated Acquisition Scan is similar to an ECG, but requires an IV. Multigated Acquistion Scans monitor how well the heart pumps blood by looking at the chambers and blood vessels of the heart.

  • Stress Testing checks blood flow through the heart while exercising.

  • A Tilt Table Test is similar to an ECG, but requires an IV and requires you to lie on a table that is periodically tilted up. This test is used to determine the cause of fainting spells.

traditional tests

  • A Cardiac Catheterization is a radiology exam that visualizes the inside of the coronary arteries. Cardiac catheterizations can be both diagnostic and interventional and often, physicians will treat a blockage immediately following the diagnostic catheterization. 

  • Electrophysiology Studies (EP) determines if there is an abnormal electrical circuit in the heart. 


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