Interventional cardiologists at Rush use state-of-the-art nonsurgical methods to diagnose and treat narrowed blood vessels in the heart, legs, neck and abdomen; structural heart disease, including narrowed or leaky heart valves; congenital heart disease and other issues related to the heart and vascular system. These procedures, which are available to many patients as alternatives to surgery, involve threading catheters into the arteries through tiny incisions in the groin.
Treatment | Diagnosis | Physicians | Resources
Depending on each patient's needs, treatment plans may include medications, risk factor modification and/or any of the following procedures:
- Angioplasty – interventional cardiologists at Rush offer all of the latest advances in angioplasty, including the Diamondback 360o orbital atherectomy catheter system to open heavily calcified arteries in the legs that can't be treated using traditional angioplasty.
- Catheter-based procedures to close abnormal communications between heart chambers that can be congenital or acquired, including atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects and patent foramen ovale.
- Carotid stenting – a minimally invasive procedure in which doctors access and treat the carotid artery in the neck using a catheter rather than a scalpel.
- Endovascular repair of aneurysms – an alternative to surgery for the treatment of aortic aneurysms and aneurysms in other arteries.
- MitraClip procedure for mitral regurgitation – a minimally invasive procedure used as an alternative to open heart surgery to treat a leaky mitral valve, or mitral regurgitation. The tiny clip, which is placed using a catheter, holds the flaps of the mitral valve together to prevent leaking.
- Pericardiocentesis – a procedure to remove fluid from the sac surrounding the heart.
- Pulmonary vein stenting – a minimally invasive procedure to treat hemoptysis.
- Stem cell therapy – a therapy that involves injecting the patient’s own stem cells or adult donor stem cells into a damaged area of heart muscle or into the leg(s) to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and bring more blood and oxygen to the affected areas.
- Transcatheter aortic valve implantation – an innovative, minimally invasive procedure for implanting a new aortic heart valve in patients with aortic valve stenosis. This procedure is a new option for patients who are not good candidates for traditional surgery, including older patients or those with health problems.
To diagnose blocked coronary arteries and heart valve problems, interventional cardiologists at Rush use a variety of imaging techniques, including the following:
- Cardiac catheterization and angiography
o Intravascular ultrasound – an echocardiogram combined with cardiac catheterization. This procedure, often used to optimize the results of an angioplasty, enables doctors to look inside blood vessels and see their condition.
o Fractional flow reserve – a procedure that can accurately measure flow past a blockage in a coronary artery. The test is done through a standard diagnostic catheter at the time of coronary angiography.
- Cardiac CT
- Cardiac MRI
- Cardiac stress testing – diagnostic testing that is conducted using state-of-the-art nuclear medicine and echocardiographic imaging techniques.
- CT angiography – a procedure that uses a special dye (contrast material) and X-rays to see how blood flows through the blood vessels.
- DynaCT – an angiography system that can rotate 360 degrees to provide CT-like images of the arteries. Because it requires less contrast agent, the DynaCT significantly reduces the patient's exposure to radiation while still providing an accurate diagnosis.
- Vascular magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
- Vascular ultrasound (also known as duplex ultrasound)
Many of these procedures take place in the interventional platform of Rush's new hospital, a space in which surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are centralized to enable seamless collaboration between specialists and ensure convenience for patients and their families. Many procedures are performed in the interventional platform's state-of-the-art hybrid cardiac suite, which couples the benefits of interventional cardiology with cardiothoracic surgery for critically ill newborns, children and adults. (Read more about the hybrid cardiac suite.)
Through clinical trials, patients at Rush have access to treatments that are not widely available, including stem cell therapy for both chronic chest pain and peripheral vascular disease (also known as peripheral artery disease); and the SAPIEN valve for aortic valve stenosis. Interventional cardiologists at Rush have also played a key role in trials looking at the MitraClip as an alternative to surgery for patients with mitral regurgitation, and they are currently studying the use of drug-coated stents in both heart and leg arteries. Learn more about the innovative heart and vascular research studies going on at Rush.
Patient and family resources
Quality of care
Rush University Medical Center has one primary goal: offering patients the highest possible quality of care. As part of this effort, we continually evaluate our care processes and clinical outcomes. See the resulting data and learn more about our quality measures.