Arrhythmia Diagnosis and Tests
At the Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute, we are experts at pinpointing the exact cause of abnormal heartbeats, or arrhythmias.
We can quickly and accurately diagnose even the most complex conditions. We then focus on getting you the right treatment recommendations and discussing the options.
Learn more about our arrhythmia treatments.
The Henry Ford Health approach to arrhythmia diagnosis
Before we recommend a treatment for you, we provide a thorough evaluation to get an accurate diagnosis. We use our electrophysiology (EP) labs to examine your heart’s electrical system. Our electrophysiology team also meets regularly to discuss complex cases.
We use a number of informative tests to help us detect arrhythmias. We typically start with:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): This common test uses sticky electrodes placed on the chest to create a printout of the heart’s electrical impulses.
- Echocardiogram: An ultrasound produces images that show how the heart functions. We may use a handheld device pressed against the chest. Or we may perform a transesophageal echo, where we insert a thin tube into the throat to get a closer look.
Heart rhythm monitoring and EP studies
We use these tests when we need more information:
- Heart rhythm monitoring: These monitors record and review heart rhythms 24 hours a day. Learn more about heart rhythm monitoring.
- EP (electrophysiological) study: This procedure allows us to go inside the heart and see the origin of an arrhythmia. Find out more about EP studies.
Other diagnostic tools for arrhythmias
We may also use other tools, including:
- Cardiac MRI or cardiac CT: These imaging tests produce highly detailed pictures of the heart.
- Stress test: A stress test uses an exercise treadmill or medicine to see how the heart performs when it works hard.