Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute: Cardiovascular testing labs
Every year, more than 12,000 patients undergo diagnostic testing at the Henry Ford Cardiovascular Laboratories. Our labs have accreditation from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories. This means we adhere to strict national standards for quality and safety.
The cardiovascular testing labs at Henry Ford perform the largest number of heart tests in southeast Michigan. With locations across the Detroit metro area, we offer the complete spectrum of cardiovascular testing including:
- Cardiac stress tests
- Laboratory tests
- Non-invasive cardiovascular testing
- Peripheral arterial and venous studies
- Radiology heart tests
- Visceral vascular evaluations
Cardiovascular testing provides vital information about your condition, such as:
- Whether you have cardiovascular disease
- Confirmation of the type of cardiovascular disease you have
- Whether your condition is mild or severe
- The exact location of irregularities or tissue damage causing your condition
- The most effective treatments
If you are under a doctor’s care for an existing condition, these tests will let us know whether there are any changes in your condition.
Cardiac stress tests
We perform cardiac stress tests (also known as metabolic stress tests), using exercise equipment such as treadmills and stationary bicycles, our specialists measure how hard your heart and lungs work under stress. If you’ve never exercised before, you can relax knowing that we perform over 500 of these tests a year. We’ll make sure you stay safe and comfortable.
We are one of few hospitals in southeast Michigan with dedicated stress testing facilities. These tests provide valuable information to help us manage patients with life-threatening conditions such as advanced heart failure. Learn more about our Advanced Heart Failure Program.
Simple blood tests provide information about your risk for heart disease. They can also let us know whether treatments (including special medications) are working.
Laboratory tests include:
- Cholesterol screening
- C-reactive protein
If a blood test comes back positive or outside of a heart healthy range (for example elevated cholesterol levels), we may need to conduct other tests to learn more. Your cardiologist will let you know what to do. Learn more about cardiology.
Non-invasive cardiovascular testing
Non-invasive tests provide us with information about your heart without using injections or incisions. These tests can tell us things like whether you have had or are at risk for a heart attack and whether there have been changes in your heart rhythm.
Non-invasive cardiovascular testing includes:
- Heart Echocardiogram (Echo)
- Nuclear stress test (myocardial perfusion imaging)
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
Some conditions, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) require special testing to measure blood pressure in your legs. These tests include:
- Ankle/brachial index
- Segmental doppler pressures and velocity waveforms
- Arterial stress testing
- Arterial duplex color-flow scanning
- Venous duplex scan
Henry Ford is one of few programs in the country with a dedicated clinic offering lifelong care for this condition. Learn more about our PAD clinic.
Radiology heart tests
Using x-ray machines and advanced imaging technology, we create high-resolution images of your heart and surrounding structures.
These tests include:
- Cardiac computed tomography (cardiac CT)
- Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI)
- Cardiac positron emission tomography (Cardiac PET)
- Multiple gated acquisition scan (Muga)
Visceral vascular evaluations
If you have vascular disease and are not able to control your symptoms with medication, or you are in a lot of pain, you may need a visceral vascular exam. These tests can help us pinpoint blockages and other conditions affecting your blood flow.
Visceral vascular evaluations include:
- Duplex scan of abdominal vessels
- Abdominal aorta/iliac arteries
- Inferior vena cava/iliac veins
- Renal artery exam
- Carotid duplex scan
Comprehensive diagnostic testing for heart & vascular disease
We perform some diagnostic tests in specialized testing facilities:
- Cardiac cath lab. This special examination room features sophisticated equipment and specially trained experts including interventional cardiologists. Here we perform minimally invasive testing such as cardiac catheterization.
- EP lab. If you have atrial fibrillation, you may need special testing in our electrophysiology (EP) labs. This lab includes special equipment allowing our heart rhythm experts (electrophysiologists) to test the electrical activity in your heart.
Your doctor will let you know which test or tests you may need. We’ll also let you know if there are any special instructions you need to follow before or after testing, such as fasting or finding someone to help you get home after your test.