Diagnosis of Arrhythmia

The diagnosis of arrhythmias begins with the medical history of the patient. Apart from that, the doctor will also ask you to detail any other medical condition.

Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes and thyroid problems may also have to be discussed with the doctor. Also share your family history and tell the doctor if anyone in your family has had any heart problems, especially arrhythmias, high blood pressure or any other long term illnesses.

During the physical examination, the doctor will listen to the rhythm of your heart using a stethoscope and record it. If your heart is murmuring, the doctor will listen to it, check your pulse and then check you for any swelling in your limbs. There are some diagnostic tests for arrhythmias as well. These include:

  • EKG: A simple test to record the electrical activity of the heart.
  • Holter and Event Monitors: This is a device that records the electrical signal of the heart over a period of 24 to 48 hours. The device has to be worn on your person throughout the day irrespective of the activities you may be performing.
  • Blood Tests
  • Chest X rays
  • Echocardiography: This test utilizes sound waves to create the picture of the heart. This imaging technique gives information about the shape and size of the heart and the way it beats. It can also give information about how well the heart beats.
  • Stress Test: Stress tests measure the ability of the heart to perform under physical stress.
  • PET scans of the heart
  • Electrophysiology Study: This test is used only to assess very serious cases of arrhythmias.
  • Tilt Table Testing: This is a test used only when a person has been experiencing fainting spells due to the arrhythmias.
  • Coronary Angiography: This imaging test uses a radioactive dye and special x rays to take detailed photographs of the heart.
  • Implantable Loop Recorder: This device can detect abnormal heart rhythms accurately. However this device is inserted supposed to be inserted surgically into the body.