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Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Schulich Heart Program  >  Patients and visitors  >  Diagnostic labs

Diagnostic labs

Vascular Doppler

Vascular Doppler is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to determine the speed and direction of blood flow in the heart. It is helpful in indicating the presence of a blockage in an artery or vein, or even within the heart. These tests are non-invasive and painless and take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.

Non-Invasive Lab

Sunnybrook's Non-Invasive Lab offers:

Holter Monitoring: A Holter monitor records your heart rhythms for an entire 24-hour period. Wires from electrodes on your chest go to a battery-operated recording device carried in your pocket or worn on a belt or shoulder strap. While you're wearing the monitor, you'll keep a diary of your activities and symptoms. Your doctor will compare the diary with the electrical recordings to try to figure out the cause of your symptoms.

Exercise Stress Testing: If your heart problems occur most often during exercise, your doctor may ask you to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike during an ECG. This is called a stress test.

Echocardiography Lab (Echo Lab): If you are referred to Sunnybrook for a test to investigate how well your heart is functioning, chances are you will have an appointment in our Echocardiography Laboratory, also called the Echo Lab. Our Sonographers and Echo Lab Cardiologists will perform a diagnostic test called an echocardiogram, or "echo". This painless, non-invasive procedure uses ultrasound to record moving images of your heart and investigate your blood flow. The images taken provide valuable information about how your heart valves and chambers are working so that your cardiologist can detect any irregularities with your heart and get you the treatment you need.

Sunnybrook's Echo Lab has been accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) and the Ontario Cardiac Care Network. Our Echo Lab is one of only three laboratories in Canada to be accredited by ICAEL in transthoracic echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram and stress testing disciplines.

Electrocardiogram (ECG): Your doctor has requested an electrocardiogram to monitor your heart. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse normally generated from special cells in the upper right chamber of your heart. An electrocardiogram, also called an ECG or EKG, records these electric signals as they travel through your heart. An electrocardiogram can be used to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions.

This test is noninvasive and painless, and may help to diagnose many common types of heart problems including:

  • Irregularities in your heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
  • Heart defects
  • Problems with your heart's valves
  • Blocked or narrowed arteries in your heart
  • A heart attack, in emergency situations
  • A previous heart attack

Please note: To receive an ECG at Sunnybrook, you must have a referral from a Sunnybrook physician.


Location and contact

Schulich Heart Centre diagnostic labs

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Echo lab:

Location: E-wing, 2nd floor, room E 205
Phone: 416-480-4782

Electrocardiogram (ECG):

Location: M-wing, ground floor, room MG 202
Phone: 416-480-4007

Holter monitoring & stress testing:

Location: E-wing, 2nd floor, Room E 248
Phone: 416-480-4470

Vascular Doppler:

Location: H-wing, 2nd floor, Room H 279
Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 6851 or ext. 4472