The Non-Invasive Cardiology Division is found on the 3rd floor of the building – block D.
The division performs non-invasive (so-called “non-bloody”) assessments to evaluate the function of the heart and its structure. The basic and most commonly used method is echocardiography (ultrasound examination of the heart, ECHO), which can be done over the chest or through the oesophagus (in special indications). Rather, a semi-invasive (partially invasive) method is concerned in the second case as it requires venous access (cannula) for administration of drugs and insertion of a probe in the oesophagus for more accurate evaluation of the heart compartments.
Some diseases require evaluation of ECG and heart performance under load and evaluation of its functional reserve. The heart can be loaded physiologically (naturally) through cycling (bicycle ergometer) or by administration of special drugs (dobutamine) that have the same effect on the heart as cycling. This method also makes it possible to load the heart in patients who are unable to pass the bicycle ergometry assessment for some reason. Load tests of the heart include: bicycle ergometry (load ECG), spiroergometry (test of the functional reserve of the cardiovascular system), load echocardiography (ergometric or dobutamine load).
For the sake of completeness, we should also mention the Holter (24-hour, continuous) monitoring of ECG and blood pressure that belong among essential and commonly available methods at our division.
In cooperation with the IKEM Division of Radiodiagnosis and Interventional Radiology, we perform examinations of the heart using magnetic resonance imaging including load tests after dobutamine administration (especially in patients where the possibility of ultrasound examination is limited).
Currently, the echocardiography laboratory of IKEM is equipped with the most modern, commercially available echocardiographic instruments. The Non-Invasive Cardiology Division of IKEM CD is the largest site of its type in the Czech Republic. More than 19,000 ultrasonography examinations of the heart and vessels are performed here every year using 7 modern instruments; from these, 1,700 examinations are done using the oesophageal probe and more than 120 load echocardiographic tests are performed. The division has been used as a training site for echocardiography and oesophageal echocardiography in the Czech Republic for many years.
Performed procedures with detailed descriptions:
- Echocardiography (ECHO)
- Oesophageal echocardiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging of the heart (and load MRI with dobutamine administration as appropriate)
- Exercise ECG (bicycle ergometry)
- Spiroergometry (evaluation of the functional reserve of the cardiovascular system under load using the bicycle ergometer)
- Load echocardiography (ergometric or dobutamine load)