Cardiac Arrhythmia Tests and Diagnostics

Looking for Advanced Arrhythmia Tests? Orange County Trusts Hoag.

At Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute, our knowledgeable, highly-experienced cardiology team is dedicated to providing the most advanced and accurate diagnostic options for heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) in Orange County. Why? Because that’s how we get to the highest-quality and most appropriate treatment plan for every arrhythmia patient, every time.

From understanding the causes behind less-dangerous arrhythmias like occasional episodes of atrial fibrillation, to the diagnosis and treatment of potentially life-threatening arrhythmias like ventricular tachycardia, Hoag is the clear choice in Orange County for advanced diagnostic testing and monitoring for conditions that can cause an abnormal heartbeat and impact the heart’s rhythm.

Read on to learn more about the diagnostic options for arrhythmia available at Hoag. If you are concerned about heart rhythm disorders, contact Hoag today through our online form or by calling 949-764-8111.

How is Cardiac Arrhythmia Diagnosed at Hoag?

At Hoag, tests, procedures and methods we use to diagnose and develop treatment plans for cardiac arrhythmia include:

Advanced Facilities and Services
  • The Allan & Sandy Fainbarg Electrophysiology Cath Lab Suite: A key facet of Hoag’s top-rated heart rhythm program and the first of its kind in Orange County, the state-of-the-art Cath Lab Suite is a comfortable, relaxed and patient-focused hub for heart health, advanced technology and the next-generation diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias and other cardiac conditions.
Cardiac Electrical Activity Mapping and Diagnosis
  • Electrophysiology Studies: Electrophysiology studies, also called an “EP study” are used to assess the heart’s electrical system and the impulses that regulate cardiac rhythm and contractions of the heart muscle. The result of these studies can help healthcare providers isolate the cause and source of heart arrhythmias.
  • Electrocardiograms (EKG): Electrocardiogram testing, or EKG, is a non-invasive electrophysiology-related test that measures the coordination and the electrical signals that control the heart rhythm.
Advanced Echocardiography
  • Echocardiogram: Echocardiograms utilize high-frequency sound waves called “ultrasound” to create detailed images of the heart without ionizing radiation or invasive techniques. These images can reveal hidden details about the heart, including whether an arrhythmia may be caused by a structural issue, a heart valve problem or other disorder.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): At Hoag, one advanced form of echocardiography we use is transesophageal echocardiogram, which involves passing a small ultrasound source down the esophagus, which places it closer to the heart. Once the ultrasound source is activated, this technique allows specialists to capture clearer and more detailed images of the heart, without structures like the ribs, chest muscles and sternum in the way.
Long-Term Cardiac Monitoring
  • Event recorders: An event recorder is a wearable device designed to monitor and record information about irregular heart rhythms for up to a month. Usually connected to the chest with sticky pads that conduct electricity through the skin, an event recorder is a small device about the size of a key fob. If an arrhythmia episode like atrial flutter occurs while wearing the event recorder, the patient presses a button on the device that notes the exact date and time of the symptom, then writes down their account of the symptom they experienced in a provided event log. This helps arrhythmia specialists isolate the electrical signals associated with the event so those particular readings can be studied.
  • Holter Monitoring: Another type of wearable device used to monitor an irregular heartbeat, a Holter monitor is a small electronic device that records cardiac activity and the heart rhythm continuously for between one and three days. Holter monitor testing is usually performed if other heart rhythm and function tests like an electrocardiogram don’t provide conclusive results or don’t fully reveal the underlying cause of a cardiac arrhythmia.
Other Diagnostic Tests for Arrhythmia
  • Stress testing: A stress test helps diagnose arrhythmias that may be triggered by exercise or physical stress, and can be particularly helpful in determining if arrhythmia is caused by heart disease or coronary artery disease. During stress testing, doctors usually monitor the heart’s electrical activity for abnormal heartbeats while the patient is doing some form of exercise, like riding an exercise bike or walking on a treadmill. If a person is too unwell to exercise, drugs may be used to simulate the effects of mild exercise on the body.
  • Tilt Table Testing: Tilt table testing is a test that uses a special motorized table to help diagnose slow arrhythmias that may cause fainting. Episodes of fainting, in which a person suffers a partial or complete loss of consciousness, are also sometimes associated with this action. During a tilt table test, factors like blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm are monitored while the tilt table moves the strapped-in patient from a horizontal to a vertical position.

Searching for Next-Generation Diagnostic Options for Arrhythmia near Irvine, Fountain Valley, Anaheim or Huntington Beach? In Orange County, There’s No Place Like Hoag.

Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute has been an Orange County beacon of help, hope and healing for serious cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, heart problems that can result in blood clots and stroke and other issues that can impact blood flow and heart health.

For those who suffer with abnormal heart rhythms in Orange County, Hoag’s unique Heart Rhythm Program is second to none. We’re committed to excellence in patient-centered care, and dedicated to delivering the advanced treatments and diagnostic options for arrhythmia that you need to heal.

From atrial fibrillation to ventricular fibrillation, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia to heart arrhythmias that involve the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinus node, Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, electrophysiologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons stands ready to help every patient in Orange County meet the challenge of complex cardiac arrhythmia.

Visit our arrhythmia overview page or arrhythmia treatment options page to learn more.

Contact Hoag’s Heart Rhythm Disorders Program by calling us at 949-764-8111 or send a note to our team through our form.