Diagnosis of Arrhythmia

How is Arrhythmia Diagnosed?

The heart’s electrical system is complex, so diagnosing problems such as arrhythmia requires special equipment and skilled medical professionals.

A diagnosis begins with a thorough examination by your doctor and a look into your medical history and family’s medical history. Your doctor may call for certain tests, including:

  • Echocardiogram: an ultrasound exam that uses sound waves to evaluate the size, pumping strength, and valves of the heart
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): a recording on graph paper of the electrical impulses generated by the heart
  • Exercise stress test: a test used to assess the effect of stress on the heart brought on by exercise
  • Holter monitoring: an exam that helps determine how the heart responds to normal activities and heart medications
  • Event monitoring: measurements of a small, portable recording device that captures fleeting episodes of abnormal heart rhythm for up to a month
  • Nuclear medicine test: a test that uses low-dose radiation to create images that show blood flow to the heart
  • Electrophysiology study: a test to determine the characteristics, or specific features, of abnormal heart rhythm