Medical Tests & Procedures

Medical Tests & Procedures Articles

High calcium score: What’s next?

Otherwise healthy people who have a high score on a coronary artery calcium scan do not need an angiogram to confirm the findings. Instead, they should focus on lowering their cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors. (Locked) More »

Understanding ejection fraction

An ejection fraction is the percentage of blood that leaves the heart each time it contracts. The most common way to measure the ejection fraction is with an echocardiogram. A normal value is 55% to 65%. (Locked) More »

What to expect during an exercise stress test

Exercise stress tests, also known as treadmill tests, are done mainly in people with symptoms suggestive of heart disease. That usually means stable angina, or chest pain that occurs in predictable patterns during physical activity. The test uses an electrocardiogram to record the heart’s electrical activity while a person walks on a treadmill that gradually increases in speed and incline. Changes to the ECG can signify blood flow abnormalities caused by blockages in the heart’s arteries or other problems in the heart. (Locked) More »

Colposcopy

Colposcopy is an examination of a woman's vagina and cervix using a colposcope, a portable instrument with a light source and magnifying lenses. This instrument lets your doctor examine the cervix and vagina for cancer and abnormal areas that may become cancer. Colposcopy takes about 15 to 30 minutes and doesn't require anesthesia.  Doctors use colposcopy to check for cervical cancer or precancerous changes after an abnormal Pap test or as a follow-up procedure to view an abnormal area seen during an earlier gynecological examination. During colposcopy, your doctor can remove a sample of tissue from the cervix for testing (biopsy).  (Locked) More »

Colposcopy and Cervical Biopsy

Colposcopy is a procedure in which a magnifying lens is used to closely examine a woman's cervix, the entrance to the uterus, located at the inner end of the vagina. The colposcope is basically a pair of special binoculars on a rolling stand. By looking through the colposcope, a doctor can identify abnormal-appearing areas of the cervix, which can then be biopsied. A pathologist examines the biopsy specimen under a microscope to determine if a precancerous condition (or, rarely, cancer) is present.   Colposcopy is done to evaluate an abnormal Pap smear. It is appropriate to have colposcopy if your pap reveals abnormal cells, particularly if you have human papillomavirus (HPV) found in the pap sample. It is also appropriate to have colposcopy if you have HPV found in repeated pap samples. This is true even if the cells appear normal.  If you think you might be pregnant, tell your doctor; it may be necessary to defer the procedure. Try to schedule the test for a day when you are not likely to be menstruating. For a day before the test, avoid having sexual intercourse and using any creams inside the vagina. (Locked) More »

Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test (PSA Test)

The prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA test) is a screening test. It measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man's blood.   PSA is a chemical made by the prostate. The prostate is a sex gland located near a man's bladder. It produces the fluid in semen.   PSA levels normally increase as a man ages. But a higher-than-normal PSA level can be one clue that cancer has developed in the prostate gland.   (Locked) More »