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100 North Eagle Creek Drive 
Lexington, KY 40509

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1221 South Broadway 
Lexington, KY 40504

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Lexington Clinic Cardiology offers a broad range of services and highly trained physicians. Therefore, you can be sure you are connected to the best possible care. Please Note: All definitions based upon procedures and conditions by either the American Heart Association or Mayo Clinic.


Cardiology Definitions

Click on the procedure below for a description.

A cardiac catheterization allows physicians to evaluate the inside of the heart, identify problems and, if possible, open blocked arteries. A small tube, or catheter, is threaded into the heart and coronary arteries via a blood vessel. During this procedure, a physician may perform a Coronary Angioplasty and/or insert a stent.

A coronary angioplasty procedure opens up blood vessels to the heart that are narrow or have become blocked. This is achieved by using a small, deflated balloon, placed with the use of a catheter, that is then inflated in the blood vessel to open the artery and increase blood flow. Oftentimes, a mesh tube, or stent, is also implanted to maintain the open artery and decrease the chances of another blockage.

Using high-frequency sound waves, an echocardiogram allows a physician to see images of the heart’s size, structure and motion. Through this, abnormalities and general information about the health of the heart are gained.

A quick and painless test which is the standard tool for diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms, to check if the heart is getting enough blood or if areas of the heart are abnormally thick. This test records the electrical activity of the heart.

An event monitor (also called event recorder) is controlled by the patient to record the heart’s electrical activity. This battery-powered, portable device is generally used when a patient has fast or slow heartbeats, feels dizzy or faint and, in some cases, used to monitor a response to medications.

A Holter monitor, a battery-operated portable device, is used to continuously measure and record electrical activity of the heart. Usually worn for only 24-48 hours, small patches, or electrodes, are placed on the chest and attached to the device, which can be carried in the pocket or in a small pouch worn around the neck.

A procedure where an implantable defibrillator is placed inside the body. The defibrillator continuously monitors the rhythm of the heart for abnormal rhythms. In the event an abnormal rhythm occurs, the implanted defibrillator delivers electrical shocks to return the heart’s rhythm to normal.

An intravascular ultrasound uses sound waves to see and evaluate the inside of a patient’s blood vessels, particularly the coronary arteries which supply the heart. This procedure is performed by placing an ultrasound wand on the tip of a catheter, which is then threaded through the patient’s arteries.

A nuclear stress test involves the injection of radioactive dye into the bloodstream. This is used to measure blood flow to a patient’s heart by taking two sets of images of the heart, one while at rest and one while the heart is working harder due to exertion or medication.

A patient with a pacemaker will need periodic analyses of their pacemaker to ensure it is performing correctly. During these analyses, the pacemaker will be checked for functionality and any problems that may be occurring.

A pacemaker is a small, electrical device implanted in a patient to keep the heart’s speed and rhythm at the appropriate paces. These are typically required for a patient whose heartbeat is to slow or is irregular. There are three common types: permanent, temporary and biventricular (a pacemaker implanted in the chest that coordinates the pumping of the chambers of the heart and reduces the symptoms of heart failure).

When blood vessels to the extremities of the body narrow and harden due to atherosclerosis, it is called peripheral vascular disease. When this disease becomes a danger to the patient, intervention and treatment are necessary.

A stress echocardiogram is a painless test used by physicians to examine a patient’s heart for proper anatomy and function. The test is performed using high frequency sound waves, or ultrasound.

A stress test measures the fitness of the heart by monitoring a patient’s heart rate at increasing levels of exercise. It is used to reveal problems with the heart that might not be noticeable unless the heart is working at a higher pace than normal.

A tilt table test is used to evaluate and determine the cause of a patient’s unexplained fainting, or syncope. The patient lays flat on a table and is strapped into place. After approximately 15 minutes of lying flat, the table is abruptly raised to place the patient head-up for approximately 45 minutes. While in the upright position, the physician will evaluate the patient’s cardiovascular response to the change in position.

A transesophageal echocardiogram is a much more detailed echocardiogram in which a flexible tube containing a transducer is inserted into a patient’s esophagus via the throat. This transducer allows physicians to gain more detailed images of the patient’s heart.


Lexington Clinic is Central Kentucky’s largest and oldest medical group. With 180+ providers in more than 30 specialties, we have been taking care of 600,000+ visits annually in the Lexington community since 1920.

1221 South Broadway
Lexington, Kentucky

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