Diagnostic tests and imaging to aid diagnosis

Diagnostic tests and imaging are fundamental for diagnosing and managing cardiac problems. The test results and scans help create an image of each patient’s heart to help guide what our cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and electrophysiologists do next. This is why we always invest in the latest and most accurate diagnostic equipment. And it’s why the teams behind the equipment – from physiologists to reporting clinicians – are leaders in their field. At HCA UK you can get test results within 48 hours* of your visit to us.

Specialist cardiac teams behind the machines

Our technicians, physiologists, reporting clinicians and radiologists are all specialists — using our machines to get the most precise information possible. Many even super-specialise in particular diagnostic tests, technology and analysis.

Our imaging teams have introduced diagnostic technologies to the UK, like FFRct technology. Some have even introduced world-first technologies, like applying state-of-the-art bioengineering techniques to cardiac CT. Our consultants work with research institutions, lead panels to evaluate new technology, and are internationally recognised teachers in the field — one has founded the largest CT training academy in Europe.

In multi-disciplinary team meetings, imaging teams present patients’ results and discuss them with a room of senior clinicians. All the expertise in the room is channelled into choosing the best treatment for each patient

Getting the right diagnosis first time


Every day our technicians run tests like echocardiography, CT, MR and PET scans for patients. Our technology gives us the fastest, highest-definition 3D images possible.

Blood tests

A blood test can tell your consultant all about your heart muscle, enzymes, proteins and cholesterol. Our perfusionists even perform blood tests during operations to predict how a patient might respond to treatment inside and outside the operating theatre.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Small electrodes are put on your chest and connected by wires to an ECG machine. This records your heart’s electrical activity. It can pick up abnormal rhythms and previous heart attacks.

Stress testing

A stress test, like a stress echo or stress ECG, monitors your heart when your heart rate and blood pressure are increased. To increase it, you’ll usually exercise on a treadmill or exercise bike.

'I thought I'd never dive again'

Aithne, a 27-year-old final year PhD oncology student at Imperial College London, has been scuba diving in her spare time for several years – completing various qualifications, tackling challenging deep-water dives and even volunteering as an instructor.

When she was diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale (PFO) or a 'hole in the heart' as it's otherwise known, by Dr Brian Clapp, Consultant Cardiologist at London Bridge Hospital following a routine, shallow dive in August 2020, Aithne thought she would never dive again. 

Scanning the heart at 80cm a second

There are only a few dual energy CT scanners in the UK, and one of them is at The Harley Street Clinic. It can scan the heart at different energy levels to focus on different elements of tissue and fluid. It’s extremely fast, scanning at up to 80cm a second.

Our heart team can book you a cardiac specialist appointment for the next working day1 on 020 7616 4988

Adopting technology to speed up diagnosis

The Heartflow FFRct creates a digital 3D colour coded model of a patient’s arterial blood flow. This helps our consultants to reach a diagnosis faster and reduces invasive testing. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommended this technology and we were one of the first organisations to implement it.

Pioneering computational fluid dynamics

To help plan procedures, our imaging teams model how parts of the heart will behave in certain conditions. Computational fluid dynamics, for instance, uses technology to apply millions of complex equations to look at how heart fluids interact with structures. It’s similar to the technology used to design Formula 1 racing cars and in the aeronautical industry.

Our heart team can book you a cardiac specialist appointment for the next working day1 on 020 7616 4988

Request a cardiac appointment

If heart symptoms are affecting your quality of life, we’re here to help. Our heart team is available to book an appointment with a cardiac specialist.

Call us today

020 7616 4988

Terms and conditions

* 94% of scans are reported within 48 hours.

Based on availability across HCA UK facilities. Appointments team open Monday-Friday excluding bank holidays.

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