Diagnostic Evaluation In each of the sections on specific congenital heart problems, regular follow-up with a cardiologist is recommended. This section describes the types of tests that often will be performed. Cardiologists will take your medical history and perform a physical exam. They may also order an electrocardiogram (called an EKG or ECG), chest X-ray, or an echocardiogram (ultrasound movie of the heart). Blood tests are particularly important in patients with cyanosis and single ventricle hearts treated with Fontan operations.
The cardiology staff will talk to you about each test. Don’t hesitate to ask the cardiologist, nurse or technician to explain these tests. After your tests are completed, your cardiologist will explain the results and whether further care is needed.
Sometimes the initial tests don’t provide enough information for a complete diagnosis and more tests may be needed. These include cardiac catheterization and angiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scanning, Holter recording and stress testing.
Special Heart Rhythm Testing Some patients have primary problems with their heart rhythm and require more testing. That are outlined below, and there is also helpful information in our Arrhythmias content area.