The cardio-vascular system provides our body with oxygen and nutrients. In the event of irregularities in the heart, blood vessels or lungs, there are several diagnostic procedures to identify the origin of such.
Ergometry is used to observe and assess the blood pressure, heart rate, potential arrhythmia or circulatory problems of the heart, the oxygen uptake and, with it, the patient’s physical condition and shape. Usually patients are examined in repose. Only ergometry allows examining the patient’s cardio-vascular system under physical strain. The exam takes at least 6 minutes during which the patient is sitting on a bicycle ergometer.
ECG patterns, the heart rate (“pulse”) and blood pressure can indicate circulatory problems of the cardiac muscle. They can show the physical conditions, reveal pathological blood pressure peaks under strain that otherwise cannot be detected or possible arrhythmia (often appearing after physical strain). The exam is simple, but a valuable tool for diagnostics. For you as a patient there is no need for any preparation. However, sportswear and sneakers would be recommendable during the exam.
Spiroergometry can be used to get some additional data, above all on someone’s physical condition. It measures the respiratory gases of every breath with a mask. Through this, the so-called “anaerobic threshold” can be determined, an important value for ambitiously training people. Spiroergometry tells us whether we are “in good shape” and, with this, what is required for training effectively.
A lung function test is advisable for patients with persisting cough, shortness of breath under minor physical strain, a history of diagnosed lung diseases such as asthma, for smokers and patients that will soon need surgery.
Diseases of the lung and the bronchial system are becoming increasingly common and epidemiologically figure among the most significant disease patterns. They should be clarified already at an early stage by a pneumologist to start therapy and avoid damage to the sensitive bronchial and lung tissue.
The patient is examined by using a mouthpiece to breathe into the testing device and perform certain breathing patterns. The exam yields information on a large number of parameters that describe the exchange of the respiratory gases in our lungs, such as lung volume, the maximum of the exhalable air, the bronchial system’s resistance, etc.
Some diseases need to be monitored over a longer period of time, usually 24 hours, to be able to determine their degree or to observe their progression under treatment.
24-hour blood pressure screening
In case of suspected arterial hypertension, a long-term screening can help find evidence of such. Sometimes a higher blood pressure is measured at the doctor’s; at home, though, everything seems to be in normal ranges when checking the blood pressure (the often so-called “white coat effect”). In a 24-hour blood pressure screening, the RR is checked every 30 minutes during the day, at nighttime every 60 minutes. This enables to observe the patient’s blood pressure under real everyday life conditions in much more detail.
In addition, the continued screening allows a better adjustment of already existing medication, as it measures the moments that are crucial for adjusting it (e.g. the morning hours before waking up) during which you as a patient would otherwise not be able to take your blood pressure. The difference between the average levels during the day and night are also of particular importance.
A long-term ECG helps identify arrhythmia. Occasional “skips” of the heart could be harmless; they might, however, indicate dangerous arrhythmia. Even some medication can have a potentially negative impact on the heartbeat without making the patient notice it. A long-term screening can therefore reveal potential side effects.
The screening (in addition to other tests) is indispensable to identify the cause of sudden fainting or acute dizziness. When the patient takes the device back to PKD, a computer-aided assessment of every single heart beat – more than 100,000 per day – will provide results and their assessment the same day.
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