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Helping You Identify and Prevent Cardiovascular Issues


Known as ankle brachial index, ABI is a non-invasive test that is done in the office. This test measures and compares the ratio of blood pressure in the ankle to that in the arm to determine how well your blood is flowing, which will help determine your risk of PAD (peripheral artery disease).

Carotid Doppler

A carotid Doppler is an imaging test that uses ultrasound to examine the carotid arteries located in the neck. This test can show narrowing or possible blockages due to plaque buildup in the arteries due to coronary artery disease.

This type of diagnostic testing is performed to detect narrowing, or stenosis, or a carotid artery, which is a condition that increases the risk of stroke. It may also be performed if an abnormal sound is heard in the neck (carotid bruit) with a stethoscope, or if a patient has high blood pressure. Doppler images can help the physician to see and evaluate blockages to blood flow, narrowing of vessels, tumors, and congenital malformation.


An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the heart. The sound waves can detect the quality of blood flow to and from the heart.

This test is used to diagnose or rule out heart disease and to follow previously diagnosed patients with heart conditions. This test is performed by a sonographer technologist and is a diagnostic test.

A small amount of gel is used on the chest area to allow the transducer (a small hand-held device) to glide smoothly over the chest area. The transducer sends and receives sound waves that convert to pictures on the ultrasound machine.

You can see your heart beating, and may even be able to see or hear your heartbeat and blood flow. Various portions of the test are recorded and stored as part of the patient’s medical record. The test takes about 20-30 minutes and is painless.

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Baker-Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute is one of a select few practices in Jacksonville and St. Augustine that offer EECP treatment. EECP, short for enhanced external counterpulsation, is a non-invasive form of therapy used to treat symptoms of angina.

This therapy helps patients control symptoms of artery disease or “hardening of the arteries.” Up to 80% of the patients treated will be helped and the therapeutic effects have been known to last up to three years.

Please read our frequently asked questions below. If you want to know more, call us at (904) 733-4444.

How does it work?

The treatment consists of lying on a padded table with large blood pressure cuffs on your upper legs. These cuffs inflate and deflate rhythmically for one hour. A full course of treatment consists of 35 one-hour sessions. It takes place in our offices and has no recovery period, which allows you to continue with your daily routine.

Am I a candidate for EECP?

The treatment is recommended for patients who have ongoing symptoms of poor body circulation (angina pectoris) and who do not want angioplasty or bypass surgery or are not eligible for these procedures. Many doctors refer their patients to Baker-Gilmour for treatment.

What are the symptoms of poor body circulation?

These symptoms may consist of chest pain but also fatigue, poor exercise tolerance, or shortness of breath. For properly selected patients, there is little or no risk associated with this treatment.

How will the treatment benefit me?

Most patients experience positive results. These include having no angina or angina that is less frequent and less intense, more energy, and a better quality of life. The treatment can also be repeated if symptoms re-occur.

Will my insurance cover the treatment?

EECP has been scientifically studied and many academic medical center research labs offer this therapy. It is approved by Medicare and all major insurance companies.

If you feel you may be a candidate for this treatment, call Baker-Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute at (904) 733-4444 for more information.

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Also known as “EKG.” This is a non-invasive diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. Many heart conditions can be detected by looking for certain patterns on the EKG.

A small area of chest hair may be shaved to prepare the area for the adhesive patches that attach to the chest area. Leads are attached to each extremity and on the front of the chest. The test takes about 5 minutes and is painless.

Nuclear Cardiology

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. Being able to diagnose this disease process accurately is our number one objective.

The basic concept for this form of diagnosis is a nuclear stress test that measures the heart’s ability to respond to external stress in a controlled clinical environment. The stress response is induced by exercise or by drug stimulation. The drug used is a small amount of radioactive tracer known as a radioisotope.

The heart muscle extracts the radioisotope from the blood flow that normally feeds it. The more blood flow the heart gets, the more radioisotope the heart muscle extracts, allowing the physician to analyze the blood flow to all regions of the heart. If the coronary artery is narrowed, less blood flow (and therefore radioisotope) will be delivered to the heart muscles.

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PET Scan

Nuclear cardiology is a valuable tool that cardiologists use to diagnose coronary artery disease, still the number one killer of men and women in the United States each year. We are always trying to improve our ability to detect this disease process and be more selective about who we feel needs an invasive cardiac catheterization.

The PET scan is considered the most sensitive way to make this diagnosis non-invasively. Across most research studies, the PET scan is over 90 percent accurate in the detection of coronary artery disease.

The Advantages Of a PET Scan Are Many:

  • 1 A much shorter testing time for both rest and stress testing—about one hour.
  • 2 A radioisotope that lasts about 75 seconds in one’s body versus conventional isotopes that last hours to days. This short exposure leads up to 2/3 less radiation.
  • 3 The ability to not only detect coronary artery disease but also give risk data that helps guide proper treatment.

Baker-Gilmour is the only cardiology practice in Jacksonville to offer the most accurate and sophisticated diagnostic equipment in its office.

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Who should have a PET scan?

Your doctor may order a PET scan by following the guidelines established by the American College of Cardiology, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and the American Heart Association, which include the following;

  • 1 Patients Who Cannot Adequately Exercise on a Treadmill
  • 2 Patients With Certain Abnormal Resting EKGs
  • 3 Women
  • 4 Larger Patients With a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 Or Over

What to Expect When You Have a PET Scan

  • 1 You will be asked to fast and have no caffeine for at least twelve hours before the procedure.
  • 2 You will lie down on a movable table and an intravenous line (IV) will be started in your arm. The tests will involve both a “rest” and “stress” portion.
  • 3 A radioisotope will be injected into the IV. The “resting” pictures will be taken by a camera that does not enclose you. This will take about five to six minutes to complete.
  • 4 The “stress” portion of the test will begin with an injection of medicine (Lexiscan) that simulates exercise.
  • 5 After several minutes another injection of the same radioisotopes as the “rest” portion will be injected and pictures will be taken. Again, this too should last another five to six minutes.
  • 6 From “hello” to “goodbye,” everything in between will be approximately one hour.

Call Baker-Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute for more information.

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Stress Test

Stress tests are performed to determine changes consistent with signs your heart is not receiving enough blood flow. The most common stress test is the exercise stress test.

This is done to determine how your heart responds to exertion. Electrodes are hooked to your chest area, which allows the physician or technician to monitor the EKG waves as your heart rate increases. You are asked to walk on a treadmill.

Stress tests can help determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart when there is increased activity or exertion. It can also determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease which would require further evaluation and evaluate how effective your heart medication is in controlling your condition.

Types of Stress Tests and How to Prepare

Adenosine Stress Test: If one cannot exercise adequately, the use of pharmacological testing only will be utilized. This is generally done in conjunction with an imaging technique.