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I have a question about cardiac physiology assessments

What is cardiac physiology?

Cardiac physiology deals with the study of the heart and how its systems interact and depend on one another. It looks at:

  • Blood flow from, within and to the heart
  • Cardiac output: the amount of blood that the heart pumps around your body in a minute
  • The behaviour of heart muscles
  • The electrical impulses that cause your heart to beat
  • The cardiac cycle, which starts at the beginning of a heartbeat and ends at the beginning of the next

Cardiac physiology services and assessments help to measure the function of the heart. This could include:

  • Echocardiogram: a test that uses ultrasound to show how your heart muscle and valves are working
  • Exercise stress testing and exercise physiology
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): records the electrical signal from your heart to check for different heart conditions
  • Holter monitoring: a continuous 24-hour test to record your heart’s rate and rhythm for analysis
  • Blood pressure monitoring, including 24-hour blood pressure monitoring: assesses your blood pressure to check for hypertension or to find out what happens to your blood pressure throughout the day and night
  • Heart monitoring or event monitoring: a cardiac (heart) event monitor is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. It may also be used to detect irregular heart rhythms called arrhythmias
  • Heart rate assessment
  • Cardiovascular health advices

Many people in the UK live with an arrhythmia or heart rhythm problem. One of the most common is atrial fibrillation (AF), where the heart beats irregularly and faster than normal. These types of conditions can cause a range of symptoms and, as well as causing physical discomfort, can increase your risk of a stroke.

More than two million people a year in the UK experience arrythmias and most people can lead a normal life if it’s properly diagnosed. It’s important to see your GP or other healthcare professional sooner rather than later so that your diagnosis and treatment plan is made as quickly as possible,

Why would I be referred for cardiac physiology assessment?

You could be referred to our Cardiac Physiologist for several reasons. Common symptoms include palpitations, feeling dizzy, fainting, shortness of breath, family history of cardiovascular disease and any other symptom that could be linked to arrhythmia.

What happens during my cardiac physiology assessment?

The most effective way to diagnose an arrhythmia is with an ECG, an electrical recording of your heart rhythm.

If the ECG doesn't identify a problem, you may need further monitoring of your heart. This may involve wearing a small portable ECG recording device called a Holter monitor or ambulatory ECG monitoring for 24 hours or longer.

If your symptoms seem to be triggered by exercise, an exercise ECG may be needed to record your heart rhythm while using a treadmill or exercise bike.

Other tests used in diagnosing arrhythmias include:

  • Cardiac event recorder: a device to record occasional symptoms over a period whenever you have them
  • Electrophysiological (EP) study: a test to locate problems with the electrical signals in your heart by passing soft wires up a vein in your leg and into your heart while you’re sedated
  • Echocardiogram: an ultrasound scan of your heart

What happens after my cardiac physiology assessment?

Our Cardiac Physiologists work closely with Consultant Cardiologists at the hospital and will liaise directly with your referring clinician once all assessments are completed and your results are available.

How much do cardiac physiology tests and treatments cost?

To request a quotation, or to arrange private cardiology treatment, please call our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Our Cardiac specialists

Mr Collins

Harry Collins

Cardiac Scientist

Mr Collins' specialties are Echocardiography, heart failure, arrhythmias and cardiology.

Mrs Hayley Rawlings

Hayley Rawlings

Cardiac Physiologist

Mrs Rawlings' interests include Echocardiography, Strain rate imaging, 4D, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure.

Contact us about a cardiac physiology assessment

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.

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