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

No matter what procedure is chosen to help diagnose your cardiovascular complications, UofL Health – Jewish Hospital will be there every step of the way, offering the best care possible.

Heart rhythm care


The body relies on a natural electrical system to create heart muscle contractions, which cause blood to flow in and out of the heart. Normally electricity flows throughout the heart in a regular pattern, but if a problem occurs along the electrical pathway the heart rhythm (or beat) can become too slow, too fast or irregular. More than 4 million Americans have an irregular heartbeat, also known as cardiac arrhythmia.

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.

Once a diagnosis and treatment plan has been reached, the therapeutic plan is discussed with the patient, their family and their referring physician. We are committed to following you longitudinally for all of your arrhythmia concerns and continued patient education.

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

Atrial fibrillation

Your heart has the capability of beating 60-100 times a minute for your entire life. In the majority of people, the heart rhythm stays regular. However, in some people, the heartbeat may become irregular and beat too fast or too slow.

Everyone has an irregular heartbeat occasionally. There are some people who have these episodes frequently and may have symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest discomfort or fainting. Fortunately, these rhythms can be identified and treated. UofL Health - Jewish 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 - Jewish 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.

Pacemaker implant

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

Defibrillator (ICD) implants

A device 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

A device 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 - Jewish 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 - Jewish 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 - Jewish 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

Interventional Cardiology Providers

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