Diagnostic and Therapeutic Invasive Cardiac Procedures
Diagnostic and therapeutic invasive cardiac procedures are performed in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital's ultra-modern cardiac catheterization laboratories. Among the busiest in the region, over 12,000 procedures are performed in its eight laboratories, including two cardiac electrophysiology labs and one pediatric lab.
Abnormalities in structure and function of the heart can be detected by right heart catheterization, coronary arteriography, and left ventriculography. Right heart catheterization is used to measure pressures, sample oxygen concentrations, and determine the functional capabilities of the heart chambers. Coronary arteriography allows visualization of abnormalities such as atherosclerotic blockages in the coronary arteries. Left ventriculography allows determination of cardiac pump and valve function.
RWJUH physicians perform over 12,000 procedures annually in the hospital's eight cardiac catheterization labs.
Atherosclerotic narrowing of coronary arteries may be treated with medications or by mechanical interventions including PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) for balloon dilation, DCA (directional coronary atherectomy) for removal of diseased portions, or laser angioplasty for thermal removal of blockages. In some cases an intravascular stent (a miniature metal scaffold) is inserted to support and maintain patency of the coronary arteries. Abnormal fluid collection in the sac around the heart can be treated by pericardial tap or balloon pericardial window, which decrease the pressure on the heart.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has specially trained experts available to perform the full spectrum of invasive and interventional procedures including the newest laser treatment PTMR (percutaneous transluminal myocardial revascularization) for patients with inoperable heart disease.