Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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Cardiovascular testing

Community Heart and Vascular Hospital performs all standard and state-of-the-art cardiovascular diagnostic testing procedures to diagnose, treat and monitor cardiac and vascular diseases. The equipment at our diagnostic center is state-of-the-art so that we can obtain the best diagnostic information for cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular diagnostic testing is available at all Community hospitals. To schedule an appointment, please call a location near you:

  • Community Heart and Vascular Hospital: 317-621-8565
  • Community Hospital East: 317-355-1234
  • Community Hospital South: 317-887-7880
  • Community Westview Hospital: 317-920-7591
  • Community Hospital Anderson: 765-298-2778
  • Community Howard Regional Health: 765-453-8333

Accredited testing center and medical staff

Our diagnostic facility is nationally accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for testing services, including echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and vascular ultrasound. Accreditation demonstrates a commitment to quality care, quality diagnostic evaluations and accountability. The standards require that all interpreting physicians and practicing technologists/sonographers are adequately trained and experienced to interpret and perform noninvasive testing. Our highly-skilled cardiologists are certified in these tests and provide diagnostic testing of exceptional quality. Our team is led by Dr. Kiran Kareti and Dr. Jo Mahenthiran.

Diagnostic testing services

We are dedicated to providing the best quality of care and testing for our patients. In addition to standard cardiac and vascular diagnostic testing, our services include:

Cardiac tests

The following tests are used to help identify and treat cardiovascular disease and heart conditions.

A test that records the electrical activity of the heart. This test is capable of detecting early changes of a heart attack, structural changes in the heart and changes due to abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias).

An echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) checks how your heart's chambers and valves are pumping blood through your heart. Electrodes check your heart rhythm and ultrasound technology shows how blood moves through your heart. No special preparations are necessary for a standard echocardiogram.

An adult echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart from outside the chest wall. Electrodes are placed on your chest and an ultrasound transducer with gel will be placed at several locations on your chest. You may hear a pulsing "whoosh" sound which is the machine recording the blood flowing through your heart. An echocardiogram can take from 20 minutes to an hour.

Other types of echo tests include transesophageal echo (TEE) and a stress echo, which combines an adult echo with a stress treadmill test.

This test is utilized to visualize the heart from the esophagus and is considered an invasive procedure. It provides the clearest picture of your heart valves and chambers of the heart. You will arrive an hour before procedure time and an IV will be started. Prior to the exam, your throat will be numbed with a spray or gel. You will receive sedating medication, so travel arrangements will be necessary for the drive home. The entire procedure and set up can take four hours.

To prepare for a TEE, wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Do not drink caffeine (including decaffeinated products) within 12 hours and do not eat or drink four hours prior to test time. The test takes approximately 45 minutes.

A cardiac stress test is used to assess the response of the heart under increased demand. It may be done through exercise or chemically if the patient is unable to exercise. In an exercise test, the patient walks on a treadmill or pedals a stationary bike to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, symptoms and electrical activity (EKG). The cardiovascular technician evaluates the EKG and blood pressure while an ultrasound technician takes pictures before and after walking on the treadmill.

This test may be conducted in conjunction with an ultrasound (ECHO) or nuclear cardiac imaging to improve detection of strain or altered heart function or blood supply due to clogged blood vessels in the heart.

To prepare for a stress ECHO, wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Do not drink caffeine (including decaffeinated products) within 12 hours and do not eat or drink four hours prior to test time. The test takes approximately 45 minutes.

A chemical stress test is done with a medicine that either raises the heart rate or redistributes blood supply to create a stress response in the heart muscle.

A stress test may be used to detect coronary artery disease or to determine safe levels of exercise following a heart attack, stent placement or heart surgery. Special protocols and expertise are also available for advanced forms of stress testing, such as cardiopulmonary monitoring, hemodynamic and ultrasound monitoring for special forms of cardiac diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, for various valve diseases and with lower extremity vascular blood flow studies.

A nuclear stress test evaluates the blood flow to the heart, looking for blockage in the heart arteries. The test combines nuclear cardiac imaging and a cardiac stress test. During nuclear imaging, small amounts of safe nuclear tracer agents are used with Emission Tomography (SPECT and MUGA) imaging to study blood supply and the heart function, including assessing the extent of living muscle tissue following a heart attack.

When you arrive for your nuclear stress test, a technologist will get an IV started and obtain a medical history. Once the IV is started you will be injected with the first dose of a radioactive tracer called Cardiolite. You will be sent to the waiting room for approximately one hour. While you are waiting, you will be asked to drink water.

After the one-hour wait, you will be called back for the first scan on the nuclear camera. These pictures take 10-20 minutes to complete. After the scan you will be taken for the stress test, which may consist of walking on a treadmill or laying down for a chemical stress test. For the stress test, you will be connected to an EKG machine and blood pressure monitor. The EKG and blood pressure will be evaluated throughout the entire stress test. During the stress test, you will be injected with a second dose of the radioactive tracer, Cardiolite.

Once the stress test is complete, you will be given a second break. On this break you are able to eat a meal, have caffeine, and take any medications.

You will be given a specific time to return to the testing department for a second scan on the nuclear camera. These pictures will also take 10-20 minutes. Once both scans are obtained, the test is complete.

To prepare for the nuclear stress test, wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Do not drink caffeine (including decaffeinated products) within 12 hours and do not eat or drink four hours prior to test time. This test takes approximately four to five hours.

A tilt table test is an innovative tool used to evaluate the cause of unexplained fainting (syncope). During the test, you lie on a table that moves from a horizontal to a vertical position.

During the test, your blood pressure and heart rate are monitored. You begin by lying flat on a table with safety belts secured across your body to hold you in place. The table is then tilted to raise your body to a head-up position — replicating a change in position from lying down to standing up. This test allows doctors to measure your body's cardiovascular response to the change in position.

Depending on the results, your doctor may recommend additional tests to exclude other causes of fainting.

Cardiac CT is a painless test that uses an x-ray machine to take clear, detailed pictures of the heart to look for heart problems. If contrast dye is used to also view the arteries in the heart, the procedure is called a coronary CT angiography (CTA).

CT angiography combines a CT x-ray imaging test with injection of intravenous contrast dye to produce 3D pictures of the beating heart and its arteries. The test is used to find blockages, plaque/calcium deposits and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries. A CTA can help diagnose coronary artery disease, an aneurysm, atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and other cardiovascular conditions.

A CTA may be used for individuals with varying levels of risk for heart disease, and/or if a stress test is inconclusive.

With one of the few 3T MRI scanners in Indiana, we offer cutting-edge technology for cardiac MRI imaging. MRI imaging is used to obtain high-quality diagnostic images of the heart and the blood vessels. Cardiac MRI services include stress MRI perfusion imaging, assessment of complex cardiovascular diseases, and MR angiography of the thoracic vessels. Patients with previously undetected or unresolved cardiovascular diseases can be appropriately diagnosed and treated with MRI technology.

This is a small, portable, battery-powered ECG machine worn by a patient to record heartbeats on tape over a period of 24 to 48 hours during normal activities. This test is designed to help detect slow, fast and irregular heart rhythm disorders.

A small, portable, battery-powered machine used by a patient to record electrical activity (ECG) over a long period of time. Patients may keep the recorder for several weeks. Each time symptoms are experienced, the patient presses a button on the recorder to record an ECG sample. As soon as possible, this sample is transmitted to the doctor's office for evaluation to help detect sporadic heart rhythm disorders.

Vascular tests

The following tests help diagnose and treat vascular diseases. Vascular disease refers to unhealthy changes in blood vessels, including plaque build-up in the arteries, varicose veins and blood clots in the veins.

A carotid Doppler exam is an ultrasound test used to evaluate the arteries in your neck to evaluate for any blockages or disease. For this test, you will lie on your back with a small pillow. If this is not comfortable for you, we try to use a position in which you will be comfortable. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour during which an ultrasound transducer is moved along the neck using a clear ultrasound gel for the transducer. Pictures are taken of the blood vessels in the neck and recorded for the physician to interpret. You will also hear Doppler noise during the exam. This test does not involve injections. The only discomfort will be due to the period of time you will need to lie quietly on the bed.

Vascular ultrasound is a non-invasive test (no needles, dye, radiation or anesthesia) used to examine blood circulation in the legs and arms.

A venous Doppler exam is an ultrasound test performed to evaluate varicose veins or look for a blood clot in the veins. This test takes approximately one hour. You will rest flat on your back with your head elevated. An ultrasound transducer with large amounts of ultrasound gel is used. The transducer is moved around on the extremity being examined to look at your veins. Pictures are taken of the blood vessels and recorded for the physician to interpret. Transducer pressure will be used to see if your veins are compressible. You will also hear Doppler noise during the exam.

Schedule an appointment

Cardiovascular diagnostic testing is available at all Community hospitals. To learn more about testing procedures or to schedule an appointment, please call:

  • Community Heart and Vascular Hospital: 317-621-8565
  • Community Hospital East: 317-355-1234
  • Community Hospital South: 317-887-7880
  • Community Westview Hospital: 317-920-7591
  • Community Hospital Anderson: 765-298-2778
  • Community Howard Regional Health: 765-453-8333

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