Cardiac Diagnostic Services

Cardiac Diagnostic Services provides diagnostic studies including diagnostic cardiac catheterization, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, electrocardiograms (EKGs), cardiac monitoring, regular and nuclear cardiac stress testing, regular and stress echocardiography (ECHO), pacemaker evaluation, and electroencephalograms (EEGs). Services are provided to inpatients and outpatients.

Cardiac Outpatient Diagnostic Services

UM Shore Regional Health's Cardiology Outpatient Services include consultations, diagnostic services, and non-invasive cardiology testing utilizing advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment. Our team of physicians, nurses and support staff are committed to providing exceptional health care in a comfortable and caring environment. 

UM Shore Regional Health's Cardiology Outpatient Services is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories. All cardiac stress tests are performed under the direct supervision of a cardiologist who is in the room during each test.

Most services are offered at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton unless otherwise noted – your physician can find out the best location for you to have your test. Patients must be referred to Cardiology Outpatient Services by their physician.

Echocardiogram: A wand-like device called a transducer is placed on the chest. Sound waves are bounced off the heart and produce an image of the heart in motion. This provides a moving picture of the heart structure and its pumping ability. An Echocardiogram is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves. The test will take from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the patient's condition and the type of echo needed. This test will help the doctor to evaluate: how well your heart is moving, how well the valves are working and the size of the heart and its pumping chambers (ventricles).

Cardiac stress test: Some heart conditions are easier to diagnose during exercise. For a stress test, a person walks or runs on a treadmill while the heart activity is monitored for abnormal heart rhythms. Another test is Stress Echo, a combination of treadmill testing and an echocardiogram.

Nuclear Stress Test: For this test, the patient is given a small dose of radioactive solution to track blood flow to the heart muscle, and to evaluate heart function.

Electrocardiogram (ECG): This simple test records the electrical activity of the heart. Patches with wires attached are placed on a patient's chest, arms, and legs. The wires are connected to a monitor that can record abnormal findings of the heart's electrical impulses. 

Holter Monitors: This test uses patches placed on the chest with wires that are connected to a portable monitor. It records the heart's electrical activity continuously for 24 hours during normal daily activities. Individuals are given a diary to record any symptoms that can then be correlated with the findings of the monitor. This test is available at UM Shore Regional Health's outpatient diagnostic centers and UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. 

Tilt Table Test: (UM Shore Medical Center at Easton only) Also called a head upright tilt test, it records your blood pressure and heart rate on a minute-by-minute basis while the table is tilted in a head-up position at different levels. The results of this test will help determine what may be causing your symptoms of light-headedness or fainting spells (also called syncope).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: a noninvasive diagnostic procedure which uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field to provide extremely clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. Diagnostic MRI procedures utilized to evaluate cardiac conditions include:

  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography: This test is used to determine the extent of damage that may have been caused by a variety of cardiac or vascular conditions.

  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Cardiac MRI): This helps your physician evaluate both the structure and function of the heart and its blood vessels. Our certified MRI technologists provide your physician with state of the art images of the structures and function of the heart and major vessels, without the risks associated with traditional, more invasive procedures. 

  • Nuclear Medicine Scan: An imaging test to check the health of your internal organs. Among the organs often tested are the heart, lungs, thyroid, gallbladder and liver. This test uses a small amount of radioactive matter (tracer) and a special nuclear camera to form an image. By performing a nuclear medicine scan your physician can diagnose metabolic changes caused by small tumors, fine fractures, or degenerative diseases such as arthritis.

Cardiac Catheterization

UM Shore Regional Health provides Cardiac Catheterization test in state-of-the-art laboratories at each of our UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton.

These tests can assess patients with blocked heart vessels or arteries, and conducts procedures that help diagnose the cause of heart problems. The Catheterization Laboratory is also capable of treating patients whose heart rhythms need correcting. Our cardiologists and experienced staff are committed to providing excellent personalized care in state-of-the-art facilities to outpatients from all counties in the region.

Prior to performing these procedures, the cardiologist will personally review your medical history along with any risks associated with the test/treatment. You will be provided with medications that are intended to relax you during the procedure but not "put you to sleep". The cardiologist will also discuss treatment options that are available to you. Patients must be referred to Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory by their physician.

Pacemaker or Defibrillator Implantation: a pacemaker can be used to replace the function of the natural pacemaker of the heart when the heart is beating too slowly. This small device sends out weak electrical impulses that cause the heart muscle to contract. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that will monitor abnormal heart rhythms and automatically correct the abnormal rhythm.

Synchronized Cardioversion: a procedure in which a brief electric shock is given to the heart to reset the heart rhythm back to its normal, regular pattern. Often used as an emergency procedure to correct a fast heart rhythm that is causing low blood pressure, chest pain, or heart failure. Also, it is used in nonurgent situations to convert an irregular heart rhythm to a normal heart rhythm.

Pericardiocentesis: the heart muscle is surrounded by a protective fluid-filled membrane. For a variety of medical reasons, the fluid can build up and compress the heart constricting pumping action. A Pericardiocentesis is performed to remove excess fluid, reduce heart muscle constriction and evaluate the cause of fluid build-up.

Heart Catheterization: also called a Coronary Angiogram, this minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure is done to study the arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle and to check the function of the main pumping chamber of your heart and your heart valves and pressures. A contrast (x-ray dye) is injected through the catheter to outline the arteries and to show any blockages or narrowings that may exist. Typically, patients are able to return home within eight hours of the completion of the study. Treatment options are discussed with you, your family, and your primary care physician.

UM Shore Regional Health Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
UM Shore Medical Center at Easton
410-822-1000 Ext. 5805

Participates in American College of Cardiology's Implantable Defibrillator Registry