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February is Heart Health Awareness Month

Heart Health Terms and Tests

If you’re experiencing heart problems or are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, you should understand some key terminology. That makes it easier for you to communicate with your doctor and take the steps you need to become more heart-healthy.

The human heart is nothing like the images you see around Valentine’s Day. This fist-sized organ in the middle of your chest has four separate chambers that pump blood throughout your circulatory system:

When the heart malfunctions, doctors can use a variety of tests to determine what the problem is:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Holter and event monitors (ambulatory EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac computerized tomography (cardiac CT)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI)
  • Cardiac catherisation