Cardiac Diagnostics

 

Once your doctor refers you for cardiac monitoring with us, you can visit one of our clinics located in NSW and the ACT. We have leading consultant cardiologists operating from our premises, who will run timely, accurate and affordable cardiac lab diagnostics including, ECGs, Holter Monitor Services and 24 Hour blood pressure monitoring. 

You won’t need to make an appointment for ECG monitoring, however you will need to make an appointment for both Holter Monitoring and Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM). 

All test results will then be sent to your referring doctor within 24 hours, or earlier if urgent.

To find one of our designated cardiac care patient pathology collection centres offering ABPM, Holter Monitoring and ECGs, click here

 

What is 24-hour holter monitoring?

This is a basic, non-invasive tool that’s used to evaluate and manage cardiac symptoms. The monitor continuously records the patient’s cardiac rhythm for 12 to 24 hours. The data is then sent to our lab where it’s analysed. A report is sent to the referring doctor within 24 to 48 hours after our lab receives the results.

 

24-hour blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)

This type of monitoring will help your doctor assess whether you’ll need to be prescribed anti-hypertensive medication. The monitor takes blood pressure readings every 20 minutes during the day and once an hour after the patient activates the sleep mode. Data is then transmitted to our laboratory. Once received, the results are sent to your referring doctor.

 

Billing

Our clinic will bulk-bill all cardiology testing that’s eligible for Medicare - so there won’t be any out-of-pocket expenses.

Please note that ABPM is not covered by Medicare and will incur an out-of-pocket cost.

Once your doctor refers you for cardiac monitoring with us, you can visit one of our clinics located in NSW and the ACT. We have leading consultant cardiologists on staff who will run timely, accurate and affordable cardiac lab diagnostics including, ECGs, Holter Monitor Services and 24 Hour blood pressure monitoring. 

You won’t need to make an appointment for ECG monitoring, however you will need to make an appointment for both Holter Monitoring and Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM).

All test results will then be sent to your referring doctor within 24 hours, or earlier if urgent.

To find one of our designated cardiac care patient pathology collection centres offering ABPM, Holter Monitoring and ECGs, click here.

What is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?

Ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitoring involves measuring your blood pressure (BP) at regular intervals (usually every 20–30 minutes) over a 24 hour period while patients undergo normal daily activities, including sleep. 

The portable monitor is worn on a belt connected to a cuff on the upper arm and uses an oscillometric technique to detect systolic, diastolic and average blood pressure as well as heart rate.

When complete, the device is connected to a computer that prepares a report of the 24 hour, day time, night time, and sleep and awake (if recorded) average systolic and diastolic BP and heart rate.

Why use Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?

Routine blood pressure monitoring in your doctor’s clinic is useful for the screening and management of true hypertension.

However Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring provides a more reliable measure of a patient’s blood pressure than isolated measurements conducted in the doctor’s surgery. This is particularly important in patients susceptible to raised blood pressure in the presence of their doctor (the white coat effect). 

Recent recommendations from expert groups such as the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence strongly advocate wider use of ABP monitoring in the diagnosis and management of hypertension.

How to Prepare

  • Make an appointment with one of our designated patient collection centres.
  • Please bring along your referral letter to the appointment as well as a list of the medications you take.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing as the cuff inflates on the arm.
  • If you have your own belt to wear please bring that to your appointment.
  • The monitor and cuff cannot get wet at all.

What to Expect

When you attend your appointment at one of our designated patient collection centres a cuff similar to a blood pressure cuff you would see in your doctor’s office is placed on your non-dominant arm. 

A tube is connected from the cuff to a monitor. This monitor is placed on a belt around your waist.  The tubing is placed underneath your clothing so that you can change your clothes when you need to. You will be requested to keep a diary and write down the times any blood pressure medications are taken and to document any exercise performed during the recording period.

Your cuff will inflate every 15 minutes to 1 hour depending upon the time of day and your doctor’s instructions. When the cuff is inflating it's important to keep that arm still and relaxed for the duration of the measurement. This usually takes around 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can ignore this rule if you're driving.

After the Procedure

Once your monitoring period is over, you'll need to come back to our patient centre where your blood pressure monitor will be removed. You will also need to give the technician the diary you kept while you wore the monitor. 

When your monitor has been removed, you're free to resume your normal everyday activities. The cardiologists operating from our centre will review the data from the monitor and will report the results back to your treating doctor. These results are normally available to your doctor within 24 to 48 hours.

What is a Holter Monitor?

A Holter monitor is a small, wearable device that records your heart rhythm. You usually wear a Holter monitor for 12-24 hours.  

A Holter monitor test is performed after a traditional test if your electrocardiogram (ECG) hasn't provided your doctor with enough information on your heart. Your GP may also order a Holter monitor if you have a heart condition that increases your risk of an abnormal heart rhythm such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Your GP may suggest you wear a Holter monitor for a day even if you haven't had any symptoms of an abnormal heartbeat. 

Wearing a Holter monitor may be inconvenient, however it's an important test that may help your doctor diagnose your condition. 

How to Prepare

To have a Holter monitor fitted by one of our technicians, please contact your nearest patient collection centre. Click here for details.

Please remember to bathe before your appointment because once your monitoring begins, you must keep the monitor away from water. You should also wear loose fitting clothes on the day of your appointment and during the testing period.  

What to Expect

Holter monitoring is painless and non-invasive. Our technician will place some electrodes on your chest using a gentle adhesive and gel.  For men, a small amount of hair may be shaved to make sure the electrodes stick. The technician will then connect the electrodes to a recording device with several wires. You can hide the electrodes and wires under your clothes, and you can wear the recording device on your belt or attached to a strap around your neck.

You'll be asked to keep a diary of all your activities while wearing the monitor. You'll also be asked to make a note of any events - symptoms of palpitations, skipped heartbeats, shortness of breath, chest pain or lightheadedness. You'll usually be given a form to help you record your activities and any symptoms. 

If you do experience any symptoms while wearing this recording device, you can press a button on your monitor which will inform the analyst of the time and date of the symptoms. Once your monitor is fitted and you've received instructions on how to wear it, you're free to resume your normal everyday activities. 

Once your monitoring begins, you must wear your Holter monitor at all times, even while you sleep. You can continue with all your usual activities.

After the Procedure 

Once your monitoring period is over, you'll need to come back to our patient centre to have your Holter monitor removed. You'll also need to give your technician the diary you kept while wearing the monitor.

The cardiologists will then review the Holter monitor trace and report the results back to your GP. These results are normally available to your doctor within 24 to 48 hours.

What is an ECG?

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to monitor your heart. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse generated from cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. An ECG tracks and records these electrical signals as they travel through your heart. The recording is called a trace. Your doctor can use the trace to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions. 

An ECG is a non-invasive, painless test and the results are usually sent back to your GP on the same day. 

What is an ECG used for?

An electrocardiogram is used to diagnose several types of heart problems. 

ECGs from normal, healthy hearts have a characteristic shape. Any irregularity in the heart rhythm or damage to the heart muscle can change the electrical activity of the heart so that the shape of the ECG is changed.

Doctors may request an ECG for patients who may be at risk of heart disease due to:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

Your doctor may use an electrocardiogram to detect: 

  • Irregularities in your heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
  • Heart defects
  • Problems with your heart's valves
  • Blocked or narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease)
  • A heart attack, in emergency situations
  • A previous heart attack

What to Expect

An ECG is a painless and non-invasive procedure. It can be performed by our technicians in our patient centres. Electrodes will be attached to your arms, legs and chest. The electrodes are sticky patches applied with a gel to help detect and conduct the electrical currents of your heart. If you have hair on the parts of your body where the electrodes will be placed, the technician may need to shave the hair so that the electrodes stick properly. A standard ECG takes just a few minutes. 

The ECG is a safe procedure with no known risks. It does not send an electric current to the body. Occasionally the patient may be allergic or sensitive to the electrodes which may result in red, irritated skin. 

When the ECG is complete, the trace will be transmitted to our specialist cardiologists for interpretation and reporting back to your GP.