At UofL Health, our cardiology team prioritizes your heart health by providing advanced cardiac imaging. Advanced Cardiac Imaging services combines the use of cutting-edge technology with top physicians for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of many heart conditions. A list of our full range of advanced cardiac imaging services and information about each can be found below.

Coronary Calcium Imaging or Cardiac CT

A (computed tomography) CT heart scan, or coronary calcium scan, is a fast and accurate way to give your physician a look inside the blood vessels to determine if there are signs of potential disease. The presence of calcium can indicate you are at risk for a heart attack, even if symptoms are not present, and can help your physician determine the best course of action to manage your risk factors.

A computed tomography (CT) scanner is used for the coronary calcium scan and an EKG records your heart’s electrical activity. The high-speed CT scan captures multiple images that are then read by a UofL Physicians radiologist.

If calcium is present, the computer will create a calcium score estimating the extent of coronary artery disease. Your physician will receive a full report outlining the results of the scan and follow-up recommendations.

Cardiac MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive test doctors use to diagnose medical conditions. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures within and around the heart. MRI does not use radiation (x-rays).

Doctors use cardiac MRI to detect or monitor cardiac disease. They also use it to evaluate the heart's anatomy and function in patients with both heart disease present at birth and heart diseases that develop after birth. Cardiac MRI does not use radiation, and it may provide the best images of the heart for certain conditions.

Cardiac catheterization

Specializing in diagnosing heart disease, cardiac catheterizations provide the clearest look at the arteries that supply the heart muscle. A physician inserts a thin plastic tube, or angiography catheters, into an artery or vein in the arm or leg. 

Contrast media (sometimes called dye) is injected through the catheter while x-ray images, or angiograms, are taken. The dye causes areas where blood flows, including vessels and heart chambers, to temporarily become darker than the surrounding tissue. This enables the physician to see how effectively your heart is pumping and to determine if there are any narrowed blood vessels.

Not only evaluating the pumping ability of the heart, but the test also evaluates the functioning of heart valves and takes pressure measurements. It helps diagnose the location and severity of blockages, coronary artery disease, defective heart valves, congenital heart defects and disease of the heart muscle.

Additional procedures include:

  • Angioplasties
  • Cardiac mapping
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Catheter ablation
  • Coronary angiographies
  • Drug-eluting stents

Atrial fibrillation

Everyone has an irregular heartbeat occasionally. There are some people who have these episodes frequently and may experience more distress or discomfort from them. Fortunately, these rhythms can be identified and treated. UofL Health – Heart Hospital's Heart Rhythm Care focuses specifically on just that – diagnosing types of arrhythmias through electrophysiology studies and determining the best treatment. At UofL Health – Heart Hospital, the heart rhythm specialists are providing the most innovative procedures for patients who have any type of arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is the most common type of heart rhythm disorder.

A full list of our arrhythmia treatments can be found below:


We offer a complete spectrum of consultative and diagnostic services to provide patients and their families with a treatment plan related to heart rhythm abnormalities. These tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG), a Holter monitor or event monitor, an exercise stress test, a tilt table test, cardiac imaging with nuclear, echo, MRI and CT scans, or a diagnostic electrophysiologic (EP) study.

Our experts are equipped with a full complement of therapeutic options including:

  • Electrical cardioversion
  • Implantation of cardiac electrical devices including Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
  • Complex ablation of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), ventricular tachycardia (VT), and atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • Complex lead management and laser lead extraction

Pacemaker implant

This device is used to maintain heart rate by keeping it from going too fast or too slow.

Defibrillator (ICD) implants

This device is used to prevent sudden cardiac death in life-threatening arrhythmias. An ICD also has the capability to be a pacemaker in case the heart beats too slowly.

Bi-Ventricular pacemaker or defibrillator

This device is used in cases in which the two bottom chambers of the heart do not sync, which can lead to heart failure.

Cryotherapy ablation

This procedure removes heat from tissue to essentially "freeze" the affected area causing an arrhythmia to restore the heart's normal electrical function.


A large catheter that's inserted through the groin and into the heart to help support the workload of the heart during a complex ablation. It's designed to pump blood to vital organs throughout the body and to keep blood pressure stable.


This device is an alternative to long-term blood thinners for patients with AFib. It is implanted into the heart to block potential stroke-causing blood clots from traveling to the brain.

Learn more about the WATCHMAN procedure

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

Specialized intensive care units located at UofL Health – Heart Hospital are dedicated to the care of critical cardiac patients, including acute heart attack, post-surgical and heart, and lung transplant care.


ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a machine that pumps a patient's blood outside the body, oxygenates it, and then returns it to the patient. ECMO is a life-saving technique that temporarily fills in for the heart and lungs when those organs are unable to fulfill their intended functions. It is very similar to a heart-lung bypass machine that is used during open-heart surgeries. UofL Health – Heart Hospital is one of only two facilities in Kentucky using ECMO for patients who need an advanced level of cardiopulmonary care.

When is ECMO used at UofL Health – Heart Hospital?

  • Patients recovering from heart failure, lung failure or heart surgery
  • As a bridge option to further treatment, such as a bridge to lung transplantation
  • For support during high-risk procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab

Advanced Cardiac Imaging Locations

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