Service & Programs : Preventive Cardiology

Assessment Tools

Our Preventive Cardiology Program offers a number of state-of-the-art tools to assess nutrition and fitness of an individual child so that the program can be tailored to the needs of the child.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis:

Bioelectrical impedance analysis is a way of measuring the child’s body water and will enable us to determine how much muscle and fat your child has. It is painless and requires about 5 minutes to complete. During this test, monitors will be placed on your child’s hand and foot and a small, painless electrical current will be passed and measured.

Body Composition and Anthropometry:

Height, weight, hip circumference, and waist circumference will be measured. A skinfold test will also be done to measure the fat found under the skin (arms, back, abdomen, thigh).


Echocardiography is a diagnostic test commonly used to assess heart function. It uses ultrasound waves to create images of the heart chambers, valves, and surrounding structures.

Ultrasound to measure Endothelium-Dependent Flow Mediated Vasodilation (FMD):

The endothelium is a layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels and the heart. Endothelial function, which is a measure of vascular health, is thought to be an important factor in the progressive worsening of some heart conditions. The test involves an ultrasound of the brachial artery (upper arm). An electrocardiogram (ECG) will also be hooked up in order for the ultrasound to take pictures of the child’s arm in coordination with the heartbeats.
Ultrasound to Measure the Carotid Artery Thickness:
The thickness of the carotid artery’s wall is an indicator of cardiovascular risk factors. The test involves an ultrasound of the carotid artery (on the neck). As with the FMD, the child will be hooked up to an ECG to match the pictures with the heartbeats.

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA):

DXA is a way to measure the amount of fat and muscle a child has, as well as bone density. During this test, the child will lie quietly and several x-ray scans will be made from head to toe. However, radiation exposure is limited and is equivalent to only a day’s dose of sunshine. The whole body scan will take about five minutes to complete.

Electrocardiogram (ECG):

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the child’s heart.

Resting Metabolic Rate:

While the child is resting comfortably, we will be able to determine how many calories the child uses at rest. Based on the results, a good estimation of how many calories the child requires to maintain or lose weight can be determined.