Non-invasive Cardiology

The evaluation and possible diagnosis of cardiovascular disease using external tests, rather than the use of any objects or fluids being inserted into the body.

Invasive Cardiology

A procedure involving the use of objects or fluids being inserted into the body for the possible diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiac Catheterization

A procedure that examines the heart and is used to help physicians diagnose a heart problem and choose the most effective treatment. During this procedure, a physician can measure pressures inside the heart, evaluate the arteries delivering blood to the heart, and determine how well the heart is pumping. This is sometimes called a coronary angiogram.

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions


Atherectomy is a procedure performed to treat blockages in the arteries. The narrowed arteries are widened by inserting a catheter carrying a device, such as a rotating drill or a cutter into the artery.

Balloon Angioplasty

Balloon angioplasty, also known as PTCA or coronary angioplasty, is a procedure used to treat blockages in the coronary arteries. A catheter with a small balloon is inserted into the blocked artery and dilated to open the artery that supplies the heart muscle with blood.

Coronary Stent

A coronary stent is a cylindrical, wire mesh device that is placed by a catheter into a previously blocked artery to help keep it open.

Alcohol Septal Ablation

Alcohol septal ablation is a percutaneous, minimally-invasive treatment performed by an interventional cardiologist to relieve symptoms and improve functional status in severely symptomatic patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who meet strict clinical, anatomic and physiologic selection criteria.


Valvuloplasty is a non-surgical procedure that may be used to open a narrow valve within the heart.

Patent Foreman Ovale

A patent foramen ovale is a small, flap-like opening in the dividing wall (septum) between the upper two chambers of the heart – the left atrium and the right atrium. In most people, the two flap-like sections of the septum, which form the foramen ovale, fuse together after birth. However, in approximately 15-20% of individuals, the foramen doesn’t fuse together and remains open or “patent”. If the blood that crosses the PFO contains debris or a clot, it can enter the arteries which supply the brain and cause a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Nowadays, there is a non-surgical method to treat PFO using a device called a septal repair implant. PFO closure is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory by a physician.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease and is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

More information is available in our Understanding Coronary Artery Disease page.

Congestive Heart Failure

The term heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped working. Heart failure means your heart is not pumping well enough to meet the body's needs. Heart failure may mean that the heart is not filling well with blood. It may also mean that the heart cannot pump blood out with adequate force. Sometimes both problems are present with heart failure. Heart failure also means that there is increased pressure within the heart itself.

More information is available in our Heart Failure brochure.


The study of the heart’s electrical system and patterns to help diagnose abnormal heartbeats or rhythms.

More information can be found on our Arrhythmia – Heart Rhythm Problems and What You Need To Know About Atrial Fibrillation pages.

Electrophysiologic Studies

Conducted to identify the location of your heart’s electrical pathways. Electrical wires are inserted into a catheter and guided through blood vessels in your arm or leg to your heart. While inside the chambers of the heart, the wires record abnormal impulses or heartbeats. Once the abnormality is discovered, it may be treated with radiofrequency catheter ablation.

Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation

A procedure used to treat some types of rapid heart beating. A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided to the area of the heart muscle, where there's an extra pathway and a mild, painless radiofrequency energy, is transmitted to the pathway and this causes heart muscle cells in a very small area to die, which stops the area from conducting the extra impulses that causes the heart to beat too rapidly.

Pacemaker Implantation and Management

Implantation of a small, battery-operated device that helps the heart beat in a regular rhythm.

Implantable Defibrillator Placement and Management

An ICD is a small electronic device, about the size of a deck of cards , that is placed inside the body. It constantly monitors your heart rhythm. If it senses a dangerous rapid heart rhythm, it delivers one or more pulses or shocks to the heart and restores a more normal rhythm.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries that bring blood to the body.

More information can be found in our Peripheral Artery Disease brochure.

Peripheral Vascular Catheterization or Intervention

Peripheral vascular catheterization or intervention is the catheterizations, angioplasties, or stent placement performed in a vessel outside the heart, such as those leading to the arms, legs, kidneys, or brain.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

While open-heart aortic valve replacement surgery is the gold standard treatment for severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis, there are patients who are not candidates for open-chest surgery. These inoperable patients may be unable to undergo traditional surgery because of factors such as age, history of heart disease, frailty or other health issues. For these patients, a new therapy called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be an option. TAVR is a procedure that allows Heart Teams to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery. This procedure enables the placement of a balloon-expandable heart valve into the body with a tube-based delivery system (catheter), which allows the valve to be inserted through a small cut in the thigh into an artery.

A Heart Team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether this procedure is an appropriate therapeutic option. In certain cases, TAVR may not be an option because of co-existing medical conditions or disease processes that would prevent the patient from experiencing the expected treatment benefit or because the risks outweigh the benefits. For those who are candidates for TAVR, this therapy may provide relief from the often debilitating symptoms associated with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis. TAVR is a significant procedure involving general anesthesia, and placement of the valve is associated with specific contraindications as well as serious adverse effects, including risks of death, stroke, damage to the artery used for insertion of the valve, major bleeding, and other life-threatening and serious events. In addition, the longevity of the valve's function is not yet known.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Many people consider varicose veins to be simply a cosmetic issue, so they delay treatment or avoid it completely. The truth is, untreated varicose veins can progress to a more serious form of vein (venous) disease called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which can present more serious signs and symptoms such as pain, ankle swelling, fatigue of the legs, skin damage and ulcers.

More information can be found on our Understanding Chronic Venous Insufficiency page.


Cardiac Ultrasound Imaging


This is an ultrasound test that sends sound waves into the chest to rebound from the heart's walls and valves. The recorded waves show the shape, texture and movement of the valves on an echocardiogram. They also show the size of the heart chambers and how well they're working.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

Transesophageal echocardiography is a special type of ultrasound imaging procedure. A transducer placed on the end of a tube is passed down a person's throat and into the esophagus. With the esophagus being close to the heart, images from TEE can give very clear pictures of the heart and its structures.

Abdominal Aorta Ultrasound

An abdominal aorta ultrasound is imaging of the abdominal aorta that looks for potential aneurysms.

Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)


(click here for ICACTL description)

CTA is an x-ray technique that produces a more detailed image of the body's organs than regular x-ray.

CTA detects:

  • Presence of plaque (fatty deposits) in vessels of the heart or elsewhere in the body
  • The quality of that plaque (soft, unstable, more likely to rupture or more stable and hardened)
  • Presence and amount of calcium build-up in the vessels of the heart or elsewhere in the body
  • Cause of atypical chest pain


Cardiac Calcium Scoring

A cardiac calcium score is a screening tool that measures how much calcified plaque is present in the heart arteries of an individual. There is a direct correlation between the amount of calcium in these arteries and the likelihood of a future cardiac event such as heart attack or stroke.

Doppler Studies

Carotid Doppler

An ultrasound to evaluate blood vessels in the neck that lead to the brain.

Arterial Doppler

Also called ABI, is a comparison of blood pressures of the arms and ankles. May involve a short walk on the treadmill, followed by an ultrasound to evaluate blood flow in the legs.

Venous Doppler

An ultrasound to evaluate the veins of the arms or legs for blood clots or valve disease.

Electrocardiograms (ECG)

A test that records your resting heart rhythm and is used to help physicians diagnose arrhythmias.

Exercise Stress Testing

Also known as a treadmill test, in which EKG and blood pressure readings are monitored while walking on a treadmill.

Nuclear Stress Test

Nuclear Cardiac Imaging is a test that produces images of the heart at work (during exercise) and at rest. During a test, you are given an injection of a small dose of a harmless radioactive tracer. Next, you spend time exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle and then resting. A specialized camera (called a "gamma camera") detects the tracer as it passes through the chambers of your heart, creating the pictures. The pictures may reveal problems in the heart muscle and blood vessels, especially when the images of the heart at work and at rest are compared.

Outpatient Telemetry Monitoring

Holter Monitoring

Holter monitoring is usually conducted over a 24-hour period while the patient goes about his or her usual daily activities. It is a continuous recording of the electrocardiogram, which is useful for detecting arrhythmias that may not appear during a resting electrocardiogram.

Event (Loop) Monitoring

Like holter monitoring, event monitoring involves wearing a very small, portable EKG recorder. However, a holter monitor is worn for a few days at most; an event monitor can be worn for months. An event monitor is activated when you have "an event," that is, you feel the symptoms of your heart problem (an arrhythmia, for example). The recorded data can be sent over the phone to your doctors for analysis.

Transtelephonic pacemaker monitoring

Transtelephonic pacemaker monitoring is used to record the heart rate and rhythms for brief periods, which are sent to a recorder by telephone.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

A PET scan of the heart is a noninvasive nuclear imaging test. It uses radioactive tracers (called radionuclides) to produce pictures of your heart. Doctors use cardiac PET scans to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD) and damage, due to a heart attack. PET scans can show healthy and damaged heart muscle. Doctors also use PET scans to help find out if you will benefit from a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) such as angioplasty and stenting, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or another procedure.

  • Accuracy and image quality
    PET is preferred for the identification of patients with multi-vessel CAD due to increased sensitivity and specificity.
  • Convenience
  • 30-40 minute procedure versus 3 hours
  • Less time in office allows people to go back to work same day
  • Improved patient experience
  • Less radiation exposure
  • Radiation safety
  • Patient types where PET is strongly indicated

Resting ABI Screening

Resting ABI Screening is an easy to use system that uses automated means to obtain Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)/Toe- Brachial Index (TBI) values and Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) waveforms.In just 15 – 20 minutes, during a regular office visit, the non-invasive ABI, TBI and PVR tests help identify obstructive peripheral disease and determine whether medical or surgical treatment is necessary.