Dell Children’s Regional Heart Center, a partnership with UT Southwestern Medical Center, provides a full range of advanced cardiac diagnostic tests for patients in the hospital, as well as outpatient studies. A pediatric radiologist (a doctor trained to diagnose and treat problems with imaging technology) or a pediatric cardiologist may conduct the various tests to diagnose heart problems and determine the best course of treatment.

Cardiac diagnostic tests include:

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography: The imaging tests use large magnets and radio waves to show problems with abnormal blood flow or tissue damage to the heart and vessels.
  • Cardiac Tomography (CT): The imaging test uses a special x-ray machine to detect damage to the blood vessels.
  • Echocardiography (ECHO): The imaging test is a cardiac ultrasound that shows the size of the patient’s heart and gives information on the condition of the heart’s chambers and valves. These studies may be performed from outside the chest (transthoracic echo) or internally from the esophagus (transesophageal echo)
  • Electrocardiography (EKG): The test records the electrical activity of the heart and detects abnormal heart rhythms, such as arrhythmias, and heart muscle damage.
  • Electrophysiology Study (EPS)
  • Fetal Echocardiography: A special type of echo that can diagnose heart abnormalities in babies before birth. This test allows for the mother and physician team to plan for optimal delivery and neonatal care.
  • Stress Test: This test is performed on a treadmill and evaluates heart function during exercise.