How are palpitations diagnosed?

It may be difficult for your doctor to determine the cause of your palpitations, especially if you are not experiencing them during your office visit. In some cases, a cause of the palpitations may not be found. Despite these obstacles, your doctor will review your medical history, ask you about your symptoms, review any medications and herbal products you may be taking, and ask you about your diet. Your doctor will also listen to your heart and lungs.

Your doctor may order certain tests or refer you to a cardiologist who may order additional tests such as: blood and urine tests, electrocardiogram (EKG), stress test, chest x-ray, echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), and a heartbeat monitoring test called an ambulatory cardiac monitor. If a heart problem is suspected, more invasive tests, such as an electrophysiology study or cardiac catheterization may be performed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/01/2019.

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