beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Diagnostic Tests

Your doctor may order one or more of the following tests.


This painless, noninvasive test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. An echocardiogram provides information about the size and shape of the heart, as well as how well the heart valves are functioning. The test is performed by placing a probe on the chest wall. It is the same technique used in sonograms in pregnant women.


Electrocardiogram (ECG)

This test records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle.

It may show signs of heart strain or enlargement.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

A TEE is a special type of echocardiogram where an ultrasound device is placed down the esophagus, close to the heart and aorta. It can provide clearer pictures than does a conventional echocardiogram.

Coronary Catheterization

Insertion of Catheter with Guide WireThis involves the threading of a tiny tube or catheter through a blood vessel in the arm or groin all the way into the heart. The tube can be used to measure pressures within the heart and provide information about heart and valve function or deliver "dye" (radiographic contrast) into the heart chambers and arteries.

When the dye is seen on x-ray images, it provides information about the heart and valve function and whether there are blockages in the heart arteries.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215