North Coast Cardiology, Inc. Katherine Ludington, MD, FACC
   4401 Manchester Avenue, Suite 106, Encinitas, CA 92024. Telephone (760) 753-0220. Fax (760) 753-2639.
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INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR PROCEDURE
Nuclear Stress Testing
Nuclear Stress Testing in a Comfortable Setting

Dr. Ludington has scheduled a test to evaluate your heart. Please scroll down

to read the information about how to prepare for your test. Feel free to call us with any questions or concerns.


CHOLESTEROL, GLUCOSE and other BLOOD TESTS

For your cholesterol or sugar blood test, please be sure NOT TO EAT for 12 HOURS beforehand. You can drink water up to your visit. Take all your medicines as usual. Other blood tests do not require a "fasting state" so you may eat and drink as usual.

ECHOCARDIOGRAM

This is an ultrasound examination of your heart. It evaluates heart function, the structures within the heart and the pressures in the heart. It is a "non-invasive" test that is painless and requires no special medication or IVs. It lasts about 30-45 minutes. You will have a chance to see your heart in action!

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing
  • No body lotions or creams on your chest area
  • You can eat and drink as usual.
  • Take all of your medications as usual.

EXERCISE TREADMILL TEST

This is a test to evaluate your heart for any possible blockages in the arteries. Dr. Ludington will also gain information about your blood pressure response to exercise, your "exercise capacity" and any irregular heart rhythms during exercise. This is a "non-invasive" test that is painless and requires no medications or IVs. It lasts about 30 minutes in total. You will be hooked up to EKG leads and will be asked to walk on a treadmill (no running required) for only 5-10 minutes. This is not an "endurance" test so you will not be asked to stay on the treadmill for long periods of time. Dr. Ludington may also take echocardiogram pictures (see above) or nuclear pictures (see below) of your heart before and after exercise. If you are having a nuclear stress test, please read the very important directions on the bottom of this page.

  • Do not eat for 4 hours prior to the test (small amounts of water/juice is ok)
  • Do not exercise the day of the test
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing and walking shoes
  • Bring a snack with you to the test
  • No body lotions or creams on your chest area please (deoderant ok)
  • Women should consider wearing a sports bra for comfort
  • Take all of your regular medications EXCEPT do NOT take
    • beta-bloackers: metoprolol, Toprol XL, Inderol (propranolol), Coreg (carvedilol), atenolol, etc.
    • calcium channel blockers: diltiazem, verapamil, etc.
    • if you have ATRIAL FIBRILLATION or FLUTTER, please contact our office before the test to discuss which medicines should be stopped

HOLTER MONITOR

A Holter Monitor is a continuous EKG monitor that iis used to diagnose "arrhythmias" or irregular, fast or slow beating of the heart. The monitor is worn for 24 hours. You will have 5 EKG leads attached to you (under your clothing; usually not visible) and will carry a small tape-recorder around your waist for the 24 hours.

  • No special preparation needed; take medications as usual; eat and drink as usual
  • No body lotions or creams to chest area
  • You will not be able to shower during the 24 hour recording
  • You MUST bring back the device the next day to our office

EVENT MONITOR

An Event Monitor is a smart EKG used to diagnose rhythm problems with the heart that are intermittent, meaning they don't occur every day. You will have this small device for a whole month. You don't necessarily need to be attached to the recorder the whole time -- some devices allow you to put it to your chest and push a button when you feel your symptoms. Other devices do need to be attached each day with 3 sticky tapes that you can apply after showering in the morning.

  • No special preparation needed; take you rmedicines as usual; eat and drink as usual
  • No body lotions or creams to chest area
  • We will teach you how to use the device, how to apply the sticky tapes
  • You will call an 800-number after experiencing symptoms to transmit your EKG
  • You will need to return the equipment after the 30 days are complete

NUCLEAR STRESS TEST

This is a sophisticated test to determine the blood flow to your heart as well as function of your heart muscle. It accurately helps diagnose possible arterial blockages that can lead to heart attacks and irregular heart beating. You will have an IV placed and will be given a tracer that is taken up by the heart muscle temporarily. You will sit with a small camera around your chest for pictures of your heart. This is not painful or uncomfortable but you must sit very still. Please read ALL of the instructions below VERY CAREFULLY:

  • Do not eat CHOCOLATE for 24 hours before the test
  • Do not drink ANY COFFEE or TEA (no decaf either) for 24 hours before the test
  • Do not eat any food for 4 hours before the test (a little water/juice is ok)
  • Bring a snack with you to the test
  • No body lotions or creams to chest area
  • Take all of your regular medications EXCEPT do NOT take
    • beta-bloackers: metoprolol, Toprol XL, Inderol (propranolol), Coreg (carvedilol), atenolol, etc.
    • calcium channel blockers: diltiazem, verapamil, etc.
    • if you have ATRIAL FIBRILLATION or FLUTTER, please call our office to discuss which medicines should be stopped before the test
    • Call us if you are unsure of what medicines to stop; stopping all medicines for the test is NOT a good idea
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and walking shoes
  • Women should consider wearing a sports bra for comfort
  • If you cannot make your appointment for this test, you MUST notify us 24 hours ahead of time or you will be charged a cancellation fee of $250.

CARDIAC MRI

This test is a detailed examination of your heart with a specialized MRI machine located at Scripps Green hospital. The test takes approximately 30 minutes total and may require an IV and contrast (gadolinium) that does not harm your kidneys or liver. You will be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. It will be important to lay still during the test. You will not "feel" the MRI magnet or any particular discomfort.

  • Do not eat for 4 hours before the test
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • No body lotions or creams to chest area
  • Do not wear any jewelry or metal
  • Take all of your medications as usual
  • Scripps Green MRI is located at 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Phone number is (858) 554-2400

64-SLICE CARDIAC CT ANGIOGRAM

Cardiac CT angiography is a fast, non-invasive evaluation of the coronary arteries that supply blood circulation to the heart. The test is performed at Scripps Green Hospital in a high speed CT scanner. An IV and contrast with iodine is required. The test takes approximately 10 seconds. Please notify us if you have an allergy to iodine or shellfish. A blood test to check kidney function is required.

  • Do not eat for 4 hours before the test
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • No body lotions or creams to chest area
  • Take all of your medications as usual
  • You may be given a medication to slow your heart rate for the test
  • Scripps Green Radiology is located at 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Phone number is (858) 554-

CORONARY ANGIOGRAPHY

Coronary angiography is the traditional, "gold standard" way to evaluate the coronary arteries for blockages. The angiogram portion of the test results in pictures that can be used to determine if you have blockages. If you do have blockages, angioplasty and stenting will be carried out at the same time. Your doctor will talk to you in detail about this test, the risks, benefits and alternative treatment options.

If you have questions, please call our office!

Please remember to notify us AT LEAST 24 hours before your appointment if you cannot make the test. Many of these tests reserve specific times for you and we MUST know ahead of time if you are unable to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
WHAT'S NEW?

A SIMPLE, 30 MINUTE TEST THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Our office is proud to offer a brand new program, called "PLAQUE DETECT." This painless, noninvasive 30 minute test uses state of the art ultrasound to diagnose blockages in the carotid arteries, which can lead to stroke. The abdominal aorta and the circulation to the legs is also thoroughly evaluated. Finally, the function of the heart is analyzed, something that no other screening program offers.

OUR OFFICE WINS 2008, 2009, 2010, AND 2011 BEST OF ENCINITAS AWARD

The US Local Business Association awarded North Coast Cardiology the Best of Encinitas award again this year. This is our fourt year in a row! Congratulations to our team for earning this honor.

DIFFICULT TO TREAT BLOOD PRESSURE or CHOLESTEROL?
Dr. Ludington's expertise in hypertension and hypercholesterolemia treatment combines a thorough risk assessment with lifestyle changes and modern drug therapy, as needed.