Cardiac Diagnostics



When it comes to your heart, MMH can help diagnose problems with a wide menu of tests, ranging from the most basic to some of the most sophisticated.

With a cardiologist currently in Muenster one day a week, and the possibility of a second joining in the spring, it is a definite plus to have cardiac diagnostics available locally.

“Muenster Memorial Hospital is working hard to offer as many services as is reasonable to meet the needs of Muenster and surrounding communities,” said Brian Roland, Chief Executive Officer for MMH.  “We have the equipment and expertise you need right here – without the hassle, without the drive.”

When diagnosing medical issues, physicians typically start with the basics. Basic testing offered at MMH includes: electrocardiogram (EKG) to check rhythm, traditional chest x-ray of the heart(size/structure) and the exercise stress test (checking rhythm under stress of walking on a treadmill).  

The hospital laboratory can perform a very specific series of blood tests to assess heart risk, help your physician in determining a course of action and monitor response to certain medications, such as blood thinners.

Muenster also offers ultrasound examinations of the heart, called echocardiograms.  An echocardiogram (echo) is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During an echo test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) from a hand-held wand placed on the chest provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves.

Echocardiograms:

  • Assess the overall function of your heart 

  • Determine the presence of many types of heart disease, such as valve disease, myocardial disease, ​pericardial disease, infective endocarditis, cardiac masses and congenital heart disease 

  • Follow the progress of valve disease over time 

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of medical or surgical treatments.


The hospital also offers:  exercise stress echos, which involves using a treadmill to raise the heart rate.  This test is often used to look for exercise-induced ischemia.

 Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear imaging of the heart is another form of coronary testing performed at MMH. A nuclear exercise stress test is a diagnostic test used to evaluate blood flow to the heart. During the test, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce computer images of the heart. 

Combined with exercise, the test can help determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart during activity versus rest.  The stimulus can be obtained via a treadmill (Myoview) or through use of a stimulant drug (Lexiscan).

 
MRI Services
MMH also recently added MRI services, which can be used to image the heart.  Using large magnets and radio-frequency waves, MRI offers a medium that provides still and moving pictures of the heart and great vessels with no x-ray exposure involved.  MRI can acquire information about the heart as it is beating; creating moving images of the heart through its pumping cycle.

Your doctor may use MRI to evaluate:• The anatomy and function of the structures of the chest, heart, great vessels and pericardium

  • Presence of disease:  ischemic heart disease, thoracic aortic disease, pericardial disease, right ventricular abnormalities, cardiac tumors, valve disease, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), pulmonary artery disease and complex congenital heart disease.


 
The technologists running the tests are all Registered Radiologic Technologists, nationally certified through the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) and the State of Texas. They have extensive training in Computed Tomography and are continuously striving to make each patient’s visit as comfortable and easy as possible. All are current in CPR and are continuously learning the latest radiation practices.

The radiology staff at MMH is made up of:  Michelle Bayer, RT(R), RSO, Director, and Chelsea Endres, RT(R).  Bayer is also the hospital’s radiation safety officer.

Providing ultrasound services is Ronny Jones of Innovative Imaging.  Jones has over 30 years of experience in the medical imaging field and holds multiple registries through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers – the world-recognized leader for providing the highest levels of expertise in the ultrasound field.

Innovative Imaging provides studies from all segments of the ultrasound imaging field, utilizingstate-of-the-art Siemens medical equipment for ultrasound imaging and for Doppler studies of the extremities, a Vista AVS made by Summitt Doppler.
 

Nuclear medicine studies are contracted through Diagnostic Health Services, one of the nation's largest providers of non-owned contract solutions to providers in the healthcare provider community.  All technologists are ARRT and state certified with specialty certification in nuclear medicine.
 
MRI services are obtained through Advanced Imaging Management of League City, Texas.  All technologists are certified and undergo a rigid schedule of continuing education.

Measures are taken to limit patient radiation exposure to the lowest possible levels, and radiologists review all films in 24 hours or less.

 “We have the equipment and we have qualified people running it,” noted Roland.  “Can we do every test?  No, but we can do a lot of what you need.  It is the patient’s choice where they go for healthcare.  We hope our residents will take the time to discover what we offer here and tell their physicians that they would like to use Muenster for their diagnostic testing.”

For information on the cardiac services available at Muenster Memorial Hospital, please contact (940) 759-6121.


Call Us:  (940) 759-2271