MUDr. Pavol Chňupa, Consultant of the Department of Noninvasive Cardiology
Anna Michlerová, Head nurse of the Department of Noninvasive Cardiology
DNC provides complex assessment of the heart and vascular system. In addition, DNC offers various examinations to hospitalized patients as well as to outpatients:
Echocardiography - there are about 14,000 ultrasound examinations of the heart performed in four echocardiographic laboratories each year. Currently this is the most frequently used noninvasive cardiologic assessment that serves all of Slovakia. Besides transthoracic examinations there are also about 400 transesophageal echocardiography exams and some dobutamine stress echo exams performed each year. The spectrum of examinations has been expanded in the last two years by contrast echocardiography of myocardium, tissue doppler and three dimensional echocardiography. Ultrasound assessment of the heart is available 24 hours a day. Echocardiographic laboratories are used not only for clinical diagnosis but also as a training center where many Slovak echocardiographists are educated.
Vascular ultrasonography is the second most frequent examination. Examinations of abdominal aorta and peripheral arterial as well as venous system are carried out in around 7,000 cases per year.
ECG stress testing - stress testing directed at detection of ischemic heart disease and assessment of physical capacity. This examination is given on two stress test bicycles or on a treadmill with a capacity of 2,500 examinations per year.
ECG Holter - 24-hour Holter ECG monitoring is performed in 2,000 patients per year, approximately half of them are outpatients.
Blood pressure Holter Monitoring - 24-hour blood pressure Holter monitoring is performed especially in outpatients to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-hypertensive therapy (1,000 patients per year).
Spirometry - complex functional respiratory testing (about 2,500 per year) is indicated especially in hospitalized patients before heart surgery or before operation of big vessels. Since January 2000, diagnostic possibilities have expanded with spiroergometry, a device that is used especially for stratification of patients scheduled for the heart transplantation program.
Tilt-table test - this is suitable especially for detailed examination of syncopal episodes (100-200 per year).
Special ECG methods- vector electrocardiography, body surface ECG mapping, high resolution ECG, ventricular late potentials. They are performed in selected patient groups with unusual ECG waveforms and for non-invasive stratification of patients with ischemic heart disease (600-700 per year).
Overall about 30,000 examinations of the heart and vascular system are performed annually at DNC. All diagnostic procedures are carried out by 3 full time physicians in cooperation with other 25 physicians from different departments and 13 nurses.