Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic tests help doctors assess the disease or problem and plan your heart care treatment accordingly. At Indiana University Health Cardiovascular, we offer a full range of invasive and noninvasive procedures from traditional echocardiography to advanced catheterization.

Consult your physician for additional questions and information about preparing for these tests.

Learn about our diagnostic services:

Ambulatory EKG (Holter Monitor)

This noninvasive test involves wearing a device that records the electrical activity of your heart as you go about a typical day. Doctors use this information along with a diary you keep to determine the cause of symptoms or any heart rhythm irregularities. Learn more.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization involves passing a catheter (a thin flexible tube) into the right or left side of the heart to get information about the organ or its blood vessels or to provide treatment in certain types of heart conditions. Learn more.

Cardiac Stress Tests (Exercise Stress Tests)

A cardiac stress test, also known as an exercise stress test, is a screening tool to test the effect of exercise on your heart. The test gives a general sense of how healthy your heart is. There are three main types of stress tests:

  • Exercise electrocardiogram - Electrodes (small, sticky patches) are placed on your chest to test the electrical activity of your heart as you walk on a treadmill.
  • Exercise echocardiogram - Sonographers perform an echocardiogram before and after exercise and compare results.
  • Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram - This test simulates exercise by using medication (dobutamine) to increase your heart rate. Sonographers perform an echocardiogram before and after the medicine is administered to compare results.

Learn more about exercise stress tests.

Doppler Ultrasound

Much like an echocardiogram which uses sound waves to form a picture of the heart, a Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to examine the blood flow in various parts of your body. Learn more.


An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. This allows doctors to evaluate the valves and chambers of the heart in a noninvasive manner. Learn more.

Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG)

An electrocardiogram records the heart's electrical activity to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats. It also determines the size and position of the chambers, the presence of any heart damage and the effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart (like a pacemaker). Learn more.

Electrophysiology Study (EPS)

Electrophysiology study (EPS) involves placing wire electrodes within the heart to determine the characteristics of heart arrhythmias. Learn more.

Heart MRI

Heart magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the heart, but does not use radiation. This test may also be done as part of a chest MRI. Learn more.

Intravascular Ultrasound

Intravascular ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to see inside the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart. Learn more.

Myocardial Biopsy (Heart Biopsy)

Myocardial biopsy is a diagnostic procedure in which a small piece of heart muscle tissue is removed for examination. Learn more.

PET Scan

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging test that uses a substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body. Unlike MRIs and CT scans, which reveal the structure of organs, a PET scan shows how the organs and tissues are functioning. Learn more.

Tilt Table Testing

Tilt table testing evaluates your blood pressure as it responds to simple stresses and can help doctors determine why you are fainting or coming close to fainting. You are strapped to a specially designed table that goes from a flat to an upright position. During this test, medical specialists monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

A TEE takes ultrasound pictures of your heart by putting a probe into your mouth and down your esophagus (food tube). This provides a clear picture of your heart because it is just in front of the esophagus. This is more invasive than a traditional echocardiogram and is only used if your heart image is unclear due to a barrel chest, congestive obstructive pulmonary disease, or obesity.

X-Ray (Chest)

A chest X-ray is an X-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm. Learn more.