Common Cardiac Tests
Here is basic information about some of the many heart tests we do at Seattle Children’s, what you need to do to prepare and how long the tests take. All the common tests here are painless.
Tests we can usually do during a regular clinic visit include:
During the visit, your child’s provider may ask for more tests, such as:
If your child needs an event or Holter monitor to check their heart rhythm, we will attach the device during the clinic visit and your child will wear it home. (Some families get an event monitor mailed to their home with instructions for how to attach and use it.) Holter monitors are worn for 1 to 14 days. Event monitors are worn longer, often for at least 1 month.
If your child needs exercise tests, we schedule these on their own. They may be at a different time than the clinic visit.
What should we bring to the test?
You know your child best, so bring things with you that can help them get through their appointment. This may include:
- Favorite snacks or drinks
- Comfort items, such as a blanket or stuffed animal
- DVD movie if your child is having an echo. We have a DVD player in each echo room that you can use during the test.
When do we get the test results?
You can expect results from an echocardiogram and an ECG within 48 to 72 hours. A radiologist needs to read a chest X-ray, so those results take longer. Results for other tests usually take more time. Your provider or clinic nurse will tell you when to expect your child’s test results.
For event and Holter monitors, results are usually ready about 2 to 3 weeks after you return the monitor.
Schedule sports physicals early to get results in time
Tip for parent or caregiver: Schedule your child’s fall sports physical early in the summer so they can get the results in time for school. Sometimes children need time to have follow-up tests.