FUNCTIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TESTS examine a patient’s interconnected body systems, influenced by external and internal effects, as well as organ functions. With the help of those tests various functional problems are diagnosed and treated.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) is the process of recording the electric activity of the heart over a period of time in hand with clinical data. During the process special electrodes are placed over the skin on the chest, wrist and ankle. These electrodes detect the electrical changes during each heartbeat. The process lasts about five minutes.
- 24 hour cardiac monitoring (Holter monitoring) is an ambulatory type process when the heart is monitored for an extended recording period (24 hours) and the detailed analysis, conclusion and recommendation report is compiled. A portable Holter device is used which is attached to a patient’s chest. This is a specially accurate device helping patients’ with more transient symptoms, coronary heart disease as well as helps monitoring other cardiac disorders. It allows evaluating the efficiency of a present treatment on a daily basis and allows changing or correcting it if necessary. A patient during this test continues with his/her daily activities and only has to fill in ‘Patient’s Diary’, indicating medicine dosage and timing, typical daily activities and their time.
- Treadmill test (cardiac stress test) is a cardiological test that is measured during a persons’s physical activity while a patient vertically sits on a medical computerised bicycle and cycles on a prescribed tempo. The patient is subjected to stress according to their age, height, weight as well as following standardised stress protocol. During the test the attending physician observes the patient’s condition, speed and tempo, heart rate, arterial blood pressure, ECG changes on the screen. ECG is recorded before the stress exercise , during the test every minute and after the person stops cycling until the initial ECG records. The physician records the exercise results with conclusions, and recommendations. Test results allow evaluating a general condition and physical capacity of a patient, in addition, it helps specifying cardiac disruptions, the level of hypertension, to see and correct the efficiency of a present treatment, eventually foreseeing rehabilitation.
Two hours before the test a patient cannot eat or smoke, drink too much liquid, coffee or strong tea, it is also recommended to arrive wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. A patient should warn a physician in advance about any illness or medicine they take. If a person suffers from hypertension, they need to take their daily medicine for arterial blood pressure.
- Audiometry is a test measuring hearing acuity while a patient puts on earphones and a range of sounds is directed to one ear at a time. Such a test allows determining the threshold of hearing of each ear, sound recognition and hearing acuity, type and level of deafness, hearing damage level and place. The obtained data is presented graphically in an audiogram which is then analysed by the physician otorhinolaryngologist.
- Spirometry is a pulmonary function test that measures lung function following the amount and speed of air that is exhaled or inhaled. The test shows the volume of air coming in and out, the speed of air during inhale and exhale, narrowing or temporary spasm of lung airways, obstruction level and other important parameters which are significant in diagnosing chronic or acute lung or broncho diseases. It helps assessing the efficiency of treatment for unrecognised kind of asthma. The test may be conducted with medical samples that help assessing the efficiency of the medicine used for treatment and differentiating pulmonary system diseases. The test takes up to 20 minutes to two hours, a patient should not have a full meal or smoke, drink a lot of liquids, coffee or strong tea before the test. In addition, one should not drink any alcohol four hours prior to the test or have any intense sports activity one hour prior to the test.
- RADIOLOGICAL TESTS are one of the most significant parts in the field of diagnostics, which need only increases each day. Radiological tests have become more accurate and less harmful to a patient’s health.
- Computed tomography (CT) is a radiological diagnostics test that uses ionising radiation. The tested part of the body is scanned in thin layers, therefore, a physician is able to accurately detect the disease. The test is used to detect particular pathologies such as multiple chest bone traumas, abdominal/pelvic, lung, bone fractures or brain injury.The amount of radiation is rather high. Before the test a patient may be asked to drink water or contrast fluid. The test takes fifteen minutes. CT is prohibited if a patient is sensitive to iodic preparation (contract fluid), has heart arrhythmia or is pregnant.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRT) is an advanced and safe test method, which uses strong magnetic field and radio waves. MRT tests soft tissue, there is no radiation involved. Three hours prior to abdominal and pelvic MRT, a patient cannot eat or drink. The test takes from fifteen minutes to one hour. MRT is prohibited if a person has any metal valves or stimulators, neurostimulators, insulin or any other medicine pumps, metals implants, internal fixating disks or metal fragments.
- X-ray is a non-invasive test which allows seeing a patient’s anatomical structures using a small dosage of ionic radiation. This is one of the oldest and most commonly used tests to get the view of bones and internal organs.
A test is prescribed to examine the functionality of many organs and bodily systems.The level of radiation is low, while the test takes up to five-ten minutes.
Mammography is a highly effective type of X-ray, during which a patient’s breast is diagnosed and screened. The test allows detecting any changes in breasts at an early stage, any cysts, malignant masses or any other abnormal findings.
Mammography as the primary test is conducted on middle aged women, since their breast glandular tissue starts to disappear and there is more adipose tissue which conducts X-ray very well and all pathological masses show up very clearly. Therefore the basal mammography is recommend for women at the age of 35, while a woman from 40 should have this test every 1,5 or two years, even if they are not at risk for breast cancer. Regular mammography decreases a chance of breast cancer down to 30 percent.
- Ultrasound (echoscopy) is a safe test that operates with high frequencies to observe and examine internal organs, seeing their size, form and texture. The test is not harmful and most frequently used to examine unrecognised abdominal pains; in addition, it helps detecting rather small and sometimes initial changes in organs. The test takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
- DEXA bone densinometry is a radiological test that measures bone density. The test takes from 10 to 30 minutes. DEXA most commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis or bone fracture probabilities.
A patient should not take any calcium at least 24 hours prior to the test. A physician should be informed if a patient has undergone any radiological tests not a long time ago (X-ray with contract fluid or CT). Female patients have to inform a physician about pregnancy. A patient needs to stay calm and still during the test, if necessary one has to hold their breath for few seconds for a better view.