Heart health tests

Doctors can use many different tests to see if scleroderma is affecting your heart. Find out more about the most common ones. 

3 min read

Taking heartbeat rate using inside of wrist

Looking at: 
 

  • How well your heart is beating—its rhythm (electrocardiogram [ECG or EKG]).1 
  • The structure of your heart and how well it can pump your blood (echocardiogram [or echo]).2 

These tests can also help your doctor exclude other diseases that might be causing your symptoms. 

What to expect: 

In most cases, you will be lying down for these tests. 

  • Man in hospital receiving scans

    For an electrocardiogram

    The doctor/nurse will stick sensors to your chest and these will record the electrical signals from your heart.1
  • Scan of patient in hospital

    For an echocardiogram

    The doctor/nurse will hold a device against your chest.2 It uses sound waves to create images of your heart as it moves.

Sometimes, longer term heart monitoring is needed. A small device you carry with you will take your measurements each day and night.

The doctor/nurse might also ask you to do a more specialised test at a specialist heart clinic or a hospital.2

Understanding your results: 

Heart health tests are not used to diagnose scleroderma, but results can indicate if the heart is affected. It can also be used to exclude other diseases.