EMG - Electromyography
This test is used to detect peripheral nervous system abnormalities and muscle disorders.
The EMG test includes:
1. ENG (electroneurography) - a test used to examine the conductivity of a peripheral nerve.
The purpose of the test is to determine the conductivity of a nerve fiber and to identify nerve damage and the cause of the damage. The test uses a disc electrode taped to the skin in the area of the anatomic position of the peripheral nerve to be examined.
2. EMG (electromyography) - a test used to assess the health of muscles.
An electromyogram measures the electrical activity of muscles when they're at rest, during voluntary contraction and maximal contraction of the muscle. This test uses a needle electrode placed directly within the muscle. This is done to assess the muscle and helps detect neuropathological or myopathological processes.
This test is part of the diagnosis of
- damage to individual peripheral nerves, particularly compression syndromes
- damage to nerve plexuses
- damage to nerve roots
- motor neuron disease (MND)
- neuromuscular junction disease
You are free to have a meal and/or take medications as prescribed before the test as usual. However, no cream or ointment should be applied to the skin area to be examined.
If you are on medication, taking especially anticoagulants (acenocumarol, warfarin, heparin, aspirin), you must tell your doctor about it.
After the test, you may return your normal activities.
ECG - Electrocardiography
ECG is a diagnostic test used in medicine to detect heart rhythm abnormalities.
ECG is an indirect method and involves recording the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time using electrodes placed on the skin. These electrodes detect electrical changes on the skin that arise from the heart muscle’s pattern of depolarizing during each heartbeat. These changes are presented as the ECG curve printed on a grid or displayed on a monitor.
How is an ECG test performed?
ECG is a painless test and completely safe to patients. No special preparation is required before the test, and the you need no special care or treatment after the test. You can eat or drink as usual before the test. An ECG test can be performed in your doctor’s office, at an outpatient clinic or even in your home. During the test, you will normally be lying down with your legs, arms and chest bare. The electrodes will be placed on your arms and legs (near the wrists and ankles, respectively) and chest, using special clamps or suction cups. As a standard, the resting 12-lead electrocardiogram test is performed. The gel that is applied to the skin before placing the electrodes increases the conductivity of the electrical impulses. During the test, you must remain still as cramps and tremors of your muscles may distort the ECG record, making its proper interpretation impossible. The result of the test is then analysed by a doctor, who is the person to be asked for further advice. The test usually takes a few minutes and can be repeated. As it is an non-invasive test, there is no risk of complications. There is no age limit for the test, and it is safe to pregnant women.
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The ultrasound test is one of the basic diagnostic methods. It uses 1-10 MHz high-frequency acoustic waves, which are inaudible to humans. These waves are transmitted into the body painlessly, without causing damage to cells and, unlike X-ray radiation, they are safe.
The ultrasound test shows the shape and size of bodily organs. Each organ reflects back ultrasound waves differently, which helps to identify the structure of the organ. The sound waves reflected by the organ are presented as images (or scans) that show the shape of the organ. These scans are then used to identify any abnormalities. The ultrasound test is used to assess the condition of the pancreas, kidneys, thyroid gland, testicles or arteries. It helps to detect abnormalities in these organs, e.g. thickened areas or nodules.
Before the doctor places the probe onto the skin, he will apply some gel to a particular area of the body (which, of course, must be bare). The gel is used to improve conductivity. The probe relays reflected waves to the ultrasound machine to produce an image of the organ.
If you are going to have an ultrasound test of the abdominal cavity, within a few days before the test you should avoid eating heavy or indigestible food that may cause excessive flatulence. Otherwise the image (or scan) may be blurred. It’s always advisable to take the test on an empty stomach. If you’re taking the test in the afternoon, have a light breakfast on that day.
Do not smoke immediately before the test, as cigarette smoke will distort the image. It is advisable to drink at least a litre of still mineral water or unsweetened tea 60 to 90 minutes before entering the doctor’s office so that your urinary bladder is filled-up (you need to feel urinary urgency). The ultrasound examination of any other soft tissue usually requires no special preparation.
Echo - Echocardiography (ultrasonocardiography)
This non-invasive test is used to assess the condition of the anatomical structures of the heart and of the movement of the heart muscle and intra-cardiac valves, as well as the flow of blood within the atria and ventricles of the heart, large heart vessels (the aorta, main veins, artery and pulmonary veins) and coronary vessels.
How is an echo test performed?
You need to strip to the waist and lie down on the couch either on your back or on your left side. During the test, the doctor will cover the ultrasound probe with gel and place it on the skin in different parts of your chest to view an image of your heart in the required proportions. Depending on your height, body weight etc. and any pathological conditions that may be detected, the test should take between 15 and 45 minutes.
This is used to continuously monitor various electrical activity of the cardiovascular system for at least 24 hours. The electrical signals recorded by the device can be viewed as graphs to assess the activity of the heart during your daily routines. The test helps to diagnose heart rhythm abnormalities and ischaemic incidents, which may cause no pain for example in diabetic patients.
The 24h ECG test using the Holter monitor device is recommended to patients with
- a tendency to faint,
- dyspnoeic attacks,
- heart palpitations,
- neurological disorders that accompany atrial fibrillation,
- persistent symptoms despite receiving treatment.
The test is easy and painless. The only, slight inconvenience is that you will have to wear, for 24 hours continuously, a small device on a belt or strap across the chest, with electrodes on the chest.