There are several different methods to test for AFib. These methods may include an electrocardiogram, heart monitors, or echocardiograms. These tests will help your doctor plan your treatment.

You may be tested for AFib through an echocardiogram, the use of a heart monitor, or an echocardiogram to help your doctor study your heart rate and rhythm. An Electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity of your heart while heart monitors collect data on heart activity for longer periods of time than ECGs. Other tests for AFib, like echocardiograms, use sound waves to generate a moving picture of the heart.

What to Expect During your Visit

  • During an electrocardiogram, small electrode pads are placed on the chest, shoulders and arms. The electrodes record heartbeat patterns and portray them on a strip of paper.
  • AFib testing may be conducted through wearing a heart monitor, which records heartbeat patterns for longer periods of time than ECGs. Heart monitors include either event monitors, which are worn for several weeks and record constantly or during episode, or holter monitors, which can record for days and provide a constant recording of heart activity.
  • You may undergo other AFib tests, including an echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to create a moving image of the heart that shows size, shape and the functionality of valves and chambers. Other tests include transesophageal echocardiograms, which produce more detail than regular echos, blood tests and nuclear imaging.
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