The cardiologists at Southeast Houston Cardiology acquired special
training to monitor and treat critically ill cardiac patients. They
admit and care for patients with heart attacks, heart failure, irregular
cardiac rhythms and cardiopulmonary arrests on a daily basis in
specialized areas of the hospitals called coronary care units.
In some circumstances blockages of the arteries may be so severe
that cardiologists are unable to dilate open the blocked arteries.
In these cases open-heart surgery to bypass the blocked arteries
with surgically transplanted veins may be necessary. These surgically
placed grafts improve blood flow to the muscle of the heart.
The cardiologists at Southeast Houston Cardiology refer to several
groups of prominent cardiovascular surgeons at five different medical
centers in the Houston area. If surgery is required, our cardiologists
visit patients and monitor their progress in the hospital on a daily
Computer Tomography (CT Scanning) is used to measure the amount of
calcium in the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to
the heart muscle). The more coronary artery calcium the greater
the patients risk of a future cardiac event or heart attack.
Calcium scoring is a simple and quick test that does not require
IV contrasts and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
With modern technology the coronary arteries can be visualized
using a multislice CT scan thus avoiding the risk and discomfort
associated with invasive cardiac cath procedures. During a cardiac
cath a needle is placed directly into the femoral artery located
in the groin and a catheter is threaded directly into the heart
to visualize the coronary arteries. A CT coronary angiogram done
with a multislice CT scanner requires intravenous contrast but no
arterial catheter or femoral artery puncture is required. Contrast
is injected through an intravenous line and x-ray pictures are timed
with the flow of contrast through the coronary arteries allowing
the physician to diagnose blockage. The coronary arteries can be
visualized noninvasively and blockage can be definitively diagnosed
without the risk of an invasive procedure.