Cardiology: Interventional Cardiology Program

Coronary artery blockage remains the leading cause of adult sickness and death in the United States. Previous therapies have included medication or open heart surgery, but over the past few decades, less invasive techniques, such as balloon angioplasty and stenting, have proven successful in relieving patients' pain and suffering. Following these techniques, however, it is not uncommon for blockages to return.

Diagnostic Procedures

The Interventional Cardiology Program at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville has invested in the most advanced diagnostic equipment to assist our team in determining the best possible treatment plan for you as quickly as possible. Our highly trained physicians and staff provide compassionate cardiac care in a state-of-the-art environment.

  • Cardiac Catheterization
    This test can measure the blood pressure within your heart and how much oxygen is in your blood. It's also used to get information about the pumping ability of the heart muscle. You'll be given a mild sedative before the test to help you relax as well as a local anesthetic. Then a slender, flexible tube will be inserted into the groin area, where your thigh meets your abdomen, and directed to the heart. Once the catheter is in place, contrast material is injected and pictures are taken, allowing your physician to see images of the inside of your heart. The procedure is performed in our state-of-the-art digital cardiac catheterization lab.
  • Coronary Intravascular Ultrasound
    Coronary intravascular ultrasound, or IVUS, is used to evaluate blockages of the coronary artery. During this procedure, an ultrasound transducer is attached to a catheter and guided through the coronary arteries, where it sends and receives sound waves to create a detailed images of the inside of the vessel. IVUS is used to provide specific information about the coronary artery blockage, including its location, size and shape. This information can help your physician determine the most appropriate treatment and evaluate its success.
  • Diagnostic Angiography
    Diagnostic angiography helps quantify the degree of blockage in a blood vessel, which can lead to a heart attack. It's often performed in conjunction with cardiac catheterization. Before the procedure, you'll be given a mild sedative and a local anesthetic. An IV line is inserted into one of the blood vessels in your arm or groin. A catheter is then inserted through the IV and into your blood vessel. The catheter is carefully threaded into the heart guided by an X-ray machine. Once the catheter is in place, contrast material is injected and pictures are taken, allowing doctors to see if the arteries are narrowed or blocked. A quantitative analysis of this procedure can be done to calculate the volume and area of the vessel. This helps physicians diagnose the level of vessel constriction and atherosclerotic plaque, which may be a soft, high-lipid plaque, a hard calcified plaque or a mixture of the two.

In addition, UF Health cardiologists provide an array of non-invasive diagnostic procedures.

Treatment Options

UF Health interventional cardiologists offers patients the following treatment options for coronary artery blockage:

  • AngioJet™
    The AngioJet is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that is cost-effective and efficient at eliminating clots that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. The AngioJet produces immediate results by "vacuuming" medium to large clots, rather than dislodging them, which can sometimes occur during angioplasty. Dislodged clots can lead to bleeding, stroke or other problems. In most patients, the catheter-like AngioJet has successfully reduced prolonged hospital stays and repeat catheterizations. It also works much faster than clot-busting medications.
  • Coronary Artery Stent
    The coronary artery stent advances an angioplasty balloon through a guiding catheter to the site of a narrowed vessel. The balloon is inflated, expanding the stent, and is removed from the artery. The expanded stent remains in the deployed position in the artery, where tissue will completely grow over it within two to three weeks. Also see Drug-Eluting Stents.
  • Coronary Radiation Therapy
    The Beta-Cath™ procedure, called vascular brachytherapy, is designed to use a localized dose of beta radiation to stop cell growth inside the stented artery. Radiation therapy is applied from within the heart vessel to potentially prevent blockages from reoccurring. This procedure was first offered in Jacksonville only by University of Florida physicians at the UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville.
  • Directional Atherectomy
    Using a shaving device, directional atherectomy slices plaque from the vessel wall. This option may be particularly useful for repairing vein grafts from prior bypass surgery and for removing plaque from large coronary vessels.
  • Drug-Eluting Stents
    Antibiotic-coated stents can dramatically reduce the incidence of restenosis—the re-clogging of arteries—in patients with heart disease. The device is currently being studied to treat and prevent excessive tissue growth and prevent arteries from re-narrowing after balloon angioplasty or stent placement.

    The stent is coated with the drug Sirolimus, a natural antibiotic and immune-system suppressant, that is slowly released over a short period of time into the vessel. Sirolimus is commonly used to prevent the body from rejecting organ transplants. Sirolimus halts the reproduction of certain cells that, as part of the body's response to injury, are involved in the proliferation of scar tissue.

    The Sirolimus-eluting stent is the first drug-eluting stent to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of blocked coronary arteries. UF Health Jacksonville is one of only 53 medical centers nationwide that participated in the drug-eluting stent clinical trial.
  • Laser Ablation
    Laser ablation uses laser technology to reduce obstructive tissue and restore blood flow to the heart through a minimally invasive procedure. The laser system uses a fiberoptic delivery device to emit ultraviolet light in controlled energy pulses that ablate, or vaporize, blockages. This technology is used as an alternative to, or in addition to, angioplasty procedures.
  • Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty
    Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty widens or expands narrowed coronary arteries with the use of a special balloon that is inserted from the tip of a catheter. When the balloon is inflated, it compresses the plaque and enlarges the diameter of the opening within the blood vessel. Once this is completed, the balloon is deflated and removed.

Providers

  • Dominick J. Angiolillo, M.D., Ph.D., FACC
    Professor
    Medical Director, Cardiovascular Research Program; Program Director, Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program; Associate Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship
    Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology
  • Theodore A. Bass, M.D.
    Professor
    Chief, Division of Cardiology; Medical Director, UF Health Cardiovascular Center - Jacksonville
    Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology
  • Martin "M" Zenni, M.D.
    Associate Professor
    Medical Director, Cardiovascular Off Campus Outreach Program; Medical Director of Nuclear Cardiology
    Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology; Nuclear Cardiology

Locations

  1. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Emerson

    Suite 120
    4555 Emerson Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32207

  2. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – Jacksonville

    5th Floor, Ambulatory Care Center
    655 West 8th Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32209

  3. UF Health Cardiovascular Center – North

    Suite 3600
    15255 Max Leggett Parkway
    Jacksonville, FL 32218

  4. UF Health Multispecialty Center – St. Marys

    201 B Lakeshore Point
    St. Marys, GA 31558