A full cardiac work up consists of a battery of medical tests used to help physicians diagnose patients who are suspected of having potential heart complications. According to Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia, a cardiac work up involves a background interview and a physical.
HeartSite.com explains that the background interview is used to gather illness history and learn the symptoms and complaints that brought the patient into the medical office. Once the interview is complete, the physician performs cardiac tests, including an electrocardiogram, a chest X-ray and a round of blood tests. This informs the physician to make a differential diagnosis. Based on the differential diagnosis, the physician runs other tests to confirm the heart problem.
Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia explains that several tests may be performed during the second part of the cardiac work up. Patients may undergo a stress test that involves the patient exercising on a treadmill. The stress test allows the doctor to monitor the patient's heart rhythm, which can help the doctor discover potential heart problems. Some physicians use a tilted table test to observe the patient's heart rate and blood pressure. Moreover, a patient may undergo an echocardiogram or a transesophageal echo to determine the underlying heart condition.