Heart screening and imaging in Colorado

At Swedish Medical Center, we offer diagnostic imaging services with advanced imaging technology to provide information for your doctor to make the best treatment decision. Our cardiac imaging staff is experienced and offers high-quality services for our patients.

For more information about our services, call (303) 788-5000.

Cardiac testing

Our cardiac testing team offers:

  • Pulmonary testing
  • Electrocardiography (EKG)
  • Holter monitor testing
  • Treadmill testing
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
  • Tilt table test
  • Cardioversion (procedure restoring normal heart rhythms in people with arrhythmias)

Once your doctor has requested a cardiac test, you can call (303) 788-5100 to schedule your appointment with our team.

Diagnostic angiograms

An angiogram is an X-ray exam of your heart and its blood vessels. A small contrast agent is used to make the blood vessels visible. During this procedure, any blockages in the blood vessels carrying blood to your heart are identified. This procedure shows your cardiologist whether blood flow is being restricted, what arteries are narrowed or blocked and the severity of the blockages. This information allows your doctor to recommend the best treatment options.

Angiograms of many different body parts may be ordered, including:

  • Cerebral: blood vessels of the head and neck
  • Pulmonary: blood vessels of the lungs
  • Spinal: blood vessels of the spine
  • Abdominal/aortagram: blood vessels in the abdomen
  • Renal: blood vessels of the kidneys

Coronary computed tomography angiogram

Many doctors advocate the careful use of coronary computed tomography angiogram (CTA) for patients who have a risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) or abnormal testing. For these types of patients, coronary CTA can provide important insights into the extent and nature of plaque formation with or without the narrowing of the coronary arteries. Coronary CTA also can exclude narrowing of the arteries as the cause of chest discomfort and detect other possible causes of symptoms. Your primary care physician, in consultation with a radiologist, will determine whether this type of testing is appropriate for you.  

Computed tomography (CT) angiography

CT angiography produces detailed images of both blood vessels and tissues using a special dye that is administered through an IV. This test is able to check your heart for various conditions, but its primary use is to check for narrowed or blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease). Once your health care provider receives your results, he/she will determine whether you have a heart condition requiring treatment or if you’re at risk of developing heart disease and need to take the steps necessary toward maintaining a healthy heart.

Chest magnified resonance angiography (MRA)

Using a magnetic field and radio waves, this exam provides detailed imaging of the major arteries in the chest and surrounding areas. This allows your doctor to evaluate blood vessels and identify abnormalities without exposing you to harmful radiation.

CT calcium scoring

The goal of cardiac CT for calcium scoring is to determine the presence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD), even if there are no symptoms. A painless, non-invasive and quick procedure, this scan obtains multiple X-ray images of the heart and its vessels in a more detailed way than conventional X-rays. The images allow a doctor to determine your score, reflecting the degree and extent of calcium deposits or build up in the walls of your coronary arteries. This screening study may be recommended by a doctor for patients with risk factors for CAD.

Major risk factors for CAD include:

  • Abnormally high blood cholesterol levels
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

To schedule a calcium scoring CT scan, call (303) 788-5444.

Fistulagram

A fistulagram is a procedure where a small, soft plastic tube is placed through the skin into the fistula, using X-ray guidance. The purpose of this procedure is to study a graft (piece of living tissue surgically transplanted), stretch open narrowing vessels or remove a clot from a dialysis graft.

Multigated acquisition scan

The purpose of a multigated acquisition scan (MUGA) is to look at the pumping function of your left ventricle. During this test, a tracer is injected into a vein, allowing a special camera to provide images of your beating heart.

Stress tests

Stress tests are used to help your doctor determine whether your heart receives enough oxygen and proper blood flow when it needs it most, such as during exercise. At Swedish, we offer two types of cardiac stress test: cardiolite and cardiac PET.

Cardiolite: this test examines if your arteries are supplying your heart muscle with enough blood.

Cardiac positron emission tomography (PET): PET scans of the heart produce images of your heart and show healthy and damaged heart muscle.

Electrophysiology lab

Our advanced EP lab performs automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) insertions, atrial fibrillation ablations and other complicated ablations.

Non-invasive vascular assessments

Non-invasive vascular assessments (NIVA) are exams that use sound waves to obtain images inside the body. The sound waves are aimed at specific areas of the body, and the echoed waves are recorded and displayed as a real-time image on a computer. Radiologists are able to evaluate organ motion, including the movement of heart valves and blood flow. We offer NIVA exams for:

  • Aorta
  • Carotid artery
  • Duplex arms
  • Duplex legs
  • Pseudoaneurysm

Ankle-brachial index testing

As a non-invasive vascular assessment (NIVA), an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test is a way for your doctor to review your blood flow. This test is typically used to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD). If you have PAD, you are more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. The ABI test compares the blood pressure at your ankle to the blood pressure at your arm. During the exam, you walk on a treadmill at at 2 mph at a 10% incline for five minutes, or until you can no longer tolerate walking. A technologist monitors your blood pressure throughout the test. ABI tests can also be administered without exercise. ABI tests can also be segmental, meaning your blood pressure is measured in various points on your body. All results can help determine whether you need to make lifestyle changes or take medication.