- 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.
For an electrocardiogramThe doctor/nurse will stick sensors to your chest and these will record the electrical signals from your heart.1
For an echocardiogramThe 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.