Magnetocardiography (MCG) has been assessed over the last 25 years as a noninvasive, radiation-free, rapid diagnostic tool for various forms of cardiac pathophysiology. MCG creates images based on the natural magnetic fields that are generated by the electrical activity of the heart. Reduced blood flow to heart muscle cells reduces their ability to create normal electrical patterns and therefore the magnetic fields become abnormal. These images can be assessed either only at rest or in an exercise format as described above without need for any imaging tracers or contrast material. New improvements to MCG technology have created more practical medical devices that are faster and more accurate than stress tests currently leveraged by the standard of care.
A stress test is used to help diagnose and evaluate heart problems such as cardiovascular disease. Your doctor may recommend this test if you have symptoms of a heart problem, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. These tests are frequently performed both in acute care settings and outpatient settings, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
A stress test usually involves physical exercise such as walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle. As you exercise, your doctor will measure your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as measurable changes in your heart’s electrical activity. If you are not able to exercise, your doctor will give you medicine that will make your heart work hard and beat faster, as if you were exercising. Many times, stress tests also involve the use of radiation, which can be done either at rest or with exercise. In these tests, referred to as nuclear stress tests, a radioactive tracer is injected into you, where it travels through your bloodstream and is absorbed by your healthy heart muscle. At this point, areas of the heart with limited or hindered blood supply can be identified.
Regardless of the type of stress test used, your doctor will carefully monitor you throughout the test to minimize the risk of complications caused by the exercise or medicine used to raise your heart rate
Cardiovascular disease refers to a range of conditions that affect your heart. This could include, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, congenital heart defects, or heart valve disease. Coronary Artery Disease is primarily due to a buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries, that causes the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels that can lead to heart attack, chest pain or stroke. The symptoms for coronary artery disease can differ between men and women. Men are more likely to report symptoms of chest pain, while women are more likely to experience shortness of breath or nausea. Many times, a patient might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until after they have had a heart attack, arrhythmia, stroke or heart failure. It’s important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular evaluations, and potentially even prevented when detected early.