What is a CTCA? This is a test that allows us to see the heart arteries in more detail. It involves lying in a CT scanner, and having a special dye injected into a vein in the arm through a cannula. The dye reaches the heart and the CT machine produces X-rays that pass through the body, which the dye then reflects. This allows us to tell if there is any significant furring-up (atheroma) in the heart arteries. The computer then reconstructs the heart arteries into a 3-Dimensional picture that we analyse. How is a CTCA done? The technologist will [...]
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What is an Echo? An echo (or echocardiogram) is an extremely useful test to which allows us to look at the heart structure and function. The technology uses an ultrasound beam which reflects from the heart structures to create a moving image of your heart on a screen. A thorough echo scan takes about half an hour to perform by one of our highly specialised cardiac physiologists. We can measure many aspects of heart structure and function, such as how strong the function is, whether the heart chambers are enlarged, if the heart muscle is thickened, whether valves are narrow [...]
What are the symptoms? Over the past 18months we have seen an increasing number of patients who have developed some lingering symptoms following a Covid 19 infection. Some of these have been described under the umbrella term “Long Covid”, although to date there is no clear consensus amongst the scientific community this actually means. Sometimes this condition has been described as “post Covid Syndrome” or, in the American press, “Covid Long Haulers”. Nevertheless, patients describe feeling much more short of breath, having palpitations or heart flutters, dizziness, and chest pain. These patients are commonly referred to their cardiologist for further [...]