What about tests?
Several tests can show what kind of heart disease your baby has. Tests can also check on your baby's condition, to see how the heart is working. Here are some tests your baby might have:
- ECG (short for "electrocardiogram")--An ECG shows the heartbeat as a line tracing. It measures activity in different parts of the heart.
- Pulse oximetry--This test shows how much oxygen is in the baby's blood.
- Echocardiogram--This test gives the doctor an ultrasound "picture" of the baby's heart.
- Chest X-ray--This can show how well the heart is growing and if your baby's lungs have fluid in them.
- Cardiac catheterization--This test uses dye in the heart to give the doctor a clear picture of the heart problem.
Caring for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease and Their Families by RB Saenz, M.D., DK Beebe, M.D., and LC Triplett, M.D. (American Family Physician April 01, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990401ap/1857.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff