Cardiac Testing Specialist

South Bay Cardiovascular Center

Cardiovascular Specialist & Nuclear Cardiology located in Morgan Hill, CA

Cardiac Testing Q & A

What is cardiac testing?

Cardiac testing consists of a range of procedures that Dr. Chirala can use to help diagnose your heart problem and monitor existing conditions. Common types of cardiac testing include:

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

This is the most familiar form of cardiac testing. Electrodes stuck to your body relay your heart's electrical activity to a monitor, so Dr. Chirala can assess any abnormalities.


An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of your heart that creates moving images. It shows the size of your heart, its structure, and how it moves.

Computerized imaging

There are several forms of computerized cardiac imaging, including positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and cardiac MRI. These technologies produce images of your heart's interior in detail.

Coronary calcium score

Finding calcium in your coronary arteries is a clear indication that you have atherosclerosis, which causes narrowing of the arteries. Dr. Chirala can record your coronary calcium score using an electron beam CT scan (EBCT) or multidetector CT scan (MDCT).

What other noninvasive cardiac testing might I need?

If initial cardiac testing doesn't reveal the cause of your heart-related symptoms, there are several other ways Dr. Chirala can assess your heart's function:

Nuclear stress test

Stress testing requires you to exercise while connected to an ECG machine. With a nuclear stress test, you also get an injection of a radioactive substance during the test. Stress testing can identify heart problems that don't show when you have a resting ECG.

Portable ECG monitoring

There are several types of portable ECG machines you can wear at home over several days or weeks. Some record your heart's electrical activity constantly (Holter monitoring) while you trigger others when you're experiencing symptoms (event monitoring).

What invasive cardiac testing might I need?

Cardiac tests that require access to your heart are minimally invasive procedures that you can usually undergo as an outpatient. Tests Dr. Chirala might use include:

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)

TEE might be necessary if something is blocking the path of the ultrasound beams during a transthoracic (external) echocardiogram. TEE involves having a probe passed down your esophagus until it's next to your heart, ensuring clear access for the ultrasound waves.

Coronary (CT) angiography

Coronary (CT) angiography is a cardiac catheterization procedure in which Dr. Chirala inserts a slim tube (catheter) into a main artery and then your heart. She injects a special dye that highlights problems like atherosclerosis on a CT scan.

Loop recorder

A loop recorder is an implantable device that monitors your heart's activity for up to three years.

If you're experiencing symptoms of heart problems, you can benefit from the state-of-the-art cardiac testing facilities available at South Bay Cardiovascular Center. Call to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.