Children's Hospital Colorado
Heart institute
Heart institute

Cardiac Tests in the Heart Institute

Doctors use different cardiac tests to diagnose possible heart problems in children. These heart tests are also often used on an ongoing basis in follow-up care and serve as a foundation in the excellent heart care provided at Children's Hospital Colorado.

As a cardiac patient, your child will undoubtedly experience one or more heart tests. Take some of the worry out of your child's heart tests by learning more about each test and what you should expect.

Chest X-ray

A man wearing light blue scrubs over a gray shirt looks at chest x-rays on a mobile workstation.A chest x-ray is a non-invasive procedure that provides a picture of the heart, lungs and bones of the chest. Read more about chest x-rays.

CT Scan and MRI

A picture of an MRI tube that is light blue with different colored stars and planets decorated on it.A cardiac MRI is a test that uses a magnet to produce signals from the atoms within the body and then turns these signals into pictures of the body. Read more about CT scans and MRIs.

Cardiac Catheterization

A surgeon looks at a computer screen over an operating table.A "heart cath" is a minimally invasive procedure that gives doctors a better understanding of how each unique heart works. Read more about cardiac catheterization.


A boy wearing khaki pants lies on an exam table with sensors stuck to his chest while a doctor with gray hair and glasses, wearing a red sweater vest over a white dress shirt, watches the test readings.An echocardiogram (ECHO) is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to create images of the heart. Read more about heart ECHOs.

Electrocardiogram, Holter Monitor & Event Recorder

A close-up of blue jagged lines on a graph.An electrocardiogram (EKG), Holter Monitor and event recorder are types of tests that record the electrical activity of the heart. Read more about how we monitor heart activity.

Electrophysiology Study

A graphic rendering of a heart with lines pointing to the different components of it.An electrophysiology (EP) study is done in the Catheterization Lab to give more detailed information about the heart's electrical activity. Read more about EP studies.

Exercise Test

A girl in a green tank top and dark blue jeans walks on a treadmill with a tube in her mouth while a woman in a gray polo watches the test readings.Exercise testing helps doctors evaluate the cardiopulmonary limitations of kids with heart or lung disease. Read more about exercise tests.

Lab Tests

A close up of about 20 test tubes, half of them filled with a green liquid and half of them filled with a blue liquid. A dropper filled with blue liquid hovers over one of the test tubes.Laboratory testing, such as blood, sweat and glucose tolerance tests, can provide a closer look at the body's functions and processes. Read more about lab tests.

Tissue Biopsies

A man with glasses and wearing a white lab coat sits at a lab counter writing with blue gloves on his hands.A heart tissue biopsy is a test in which a small piece of the heart muscle is taken and looked at under a microscope. Read more about how we biopsy heart tissue.