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.
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
In addition, UF Health cardiologists provide an array of
non-invasive diagnostic procedures.
UF Health interventional cardiologists offers patients the following treatment options
for coronary artery blockage:
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 –
- 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
Dominick J. Angiolillo, M.D., Ph.D., FACC
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.
Chief, Division of Cardiology; Medical Director, UF Health Cardiovascular Center - Jacksonville
Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology
Martin "M" Zenni, M.D.
Medical Director, Cardiovascular Off Campus Outreach Program; Medical Director of Nuclear Cardiology
Specializes in Cardiovascular Disease; Interventional Cardiology; Nuclear Cardiology
201 B Lakeshore Point
St. Marys, GA 31558
4555 Emerson Street
Jacksonville, FL 32207
5th Floor, Ambulatory Care Center
655 West 8th Street
Jacksonville, FL 32209
15255 Max Leggett Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32218