Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiac Catheterization
As the region's first Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Garnet Health Medical Center provides the most advanced, accurate diagnostics for your heart and arteries and offers the latest technology, experienced cardiologists and expert support staff.
Types of Cardiac Catheterization Procedures
Information from the cardiac catheterization can help determine if cardiac surgery or another interventional cardiology procedure, such as angioplasty, is necessary.
Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a non-surgical procedure usually performed to diagnose coronary artery disease. The patient is given a mild sedative to aid in relaxation, but remains awake during the procedure so that questions relating to comfort, chest pain or shortness of breath can be addressed.
The catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube) is inserted through the femoral artery in the groin (or an artery in the arm). A colorless dye is injected through the catheter, and x-ray pictures are taken of the heart and coronary arteries. The test takes about one hour, and most patients are discharged the same day.
This test will help the doctor evaluate the patient's cardiac condition relating to:
- How well the heart muscle and valves are working
- The extent of damage to the heart after a heart attack
- Which coronary arteries are narrowed
- What treatment, if any, is required - medical management, angioplasty or surgery
Unlike diagnostic cardiac catheterization, which is a procedure used to strictly diagnose heart issues, interventional catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure where actual treatments, such as angioplasty, can be performed to open a blocked artery using specialized catheters. These interventional cardiac catheterization procedures can often decrease the need for more invasive surgery.
Using cardiac catheterization, physicians can:
- Analyze the location and size of plaque deposits
- Assess the strength of the heart muscle and valves
- Collect blood samples
- Take blood pressure readings
- Inject dyes that are visible on X-rays into arteries to see how well blood is flowing
Garnet Health Medical Center's Peter Frommer, M.D. Heart Center has incorporated the Volcano IVUS s5I system into its two Cardiac Catheterization Labs.
Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS), performed along with cardiac catheterizations, is a catheter-based system that allows physicians to acquire images of diseased vessels from inside the arteries of your heart. A small imaging probe at the tip of a catheter is threaded through the coronary arteries and is used to take images and measurements inside of the cardiovascular system.
IVUS provides information about the vessel, including detailed images of the interior walls of the arteries. IVUS shows a cross-section of both the interior and the layers of the artery wall itself as opposed to angiography, which shows a two-dimensional silhouette of the interior of the arteries, Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) is an additional integrated component of the IVUS system that measures the flow of blood through a vessel before and after the intervention.
IVUS is used:
- To measure the stage and severity of disease present in cardiac and peripheral vessels or arteries
- In post-stent placement procedures to confirm adequate expansion of the stent
- To view the artery - from inside out, to evaluate the amount of disease present, how it is distributed and, in some cases, what it is made of
- Determine the need for additional treatment (angioplasty or bypass surgery)