Diagnostic Tests

To understand more about your condition, your doctor may need to order some tests. The most common tests for heart failure are a chest X-ray, an echocardiogram, and an electrocardiogram. Your doctor may have some of these done every three months.

A chest X-ray takes pictures of your heart and lungs. Your doctor will be able to see the size of your heart and if fluid has built up around your heart and in your lungs.

An echocardiogram, sometimes called an “echo,” uses sound waves to take pictures of the inside of your heart so the doctor can understand how it’s moving. An echocardiogram can measure how much blood leaves your heart each time it pumps.

An electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG or ECG, is a simple test. It records the electrical activity in your heart using electrodes that are put on your chest, arms, and legs. An EKG can show how fast or strong your heart is beating and if the rhythm of your heartbeat is steady or irregular.

All of these tests will give your care team a good idea about how your heart is working. With this information, they can work with you to make an effective plan for your treatment.