Cardiac Catheterization

Hartford Hospital has an active cardiac catheterization program. Our facility consists of five adult cardiac catheterization suites equipped with digital x-ray systems. Each year, our cath lab performs over 4,000 procedures, including diagnostic right and left cardiac catheterizations, endomyocardial biopsies, balloon angioplasty, coronary stent placement (including complex and high-risk coronary stenting), transcatheter valve replacement, transcatheter valve clipping, PFO/ASD closures, and the use of new and investigational devices. On May 12, the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital performed its 2,000th successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). The vast majority of patients who present to the Hartford Healthcare system with acute myocardial infarction are referred to the Hartford Hospital laboratory for primary intervention. The teaching faculty consists of interventional cardiologists, who are geographically-based in the laboratory.

Fellows in the first and second years of training are exposed to diagnostic right and left heart catheterization, including coronary angiography. They participate in the pre-procedure evaluation of the patient and participate, with the attending, in the performance of the procedure and interpretation of results. Fellows have access to a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization simulator for additional hands-on training with interventional cardiology faculty. The major emphasis in the first two years is acquiring knowledge of basic coronary anatomy and hemodynamics. Fellows in their third year can elect to spend up to six additional months in the laboratory in order to obtain in-depth training in cardiac catheterization. Hartford Hospital also offers a dedicated fourth year of training in interventional cardiology; an ACGME-accredited program.

In addition to clinical activities and teaching, the fellows have an opportunity to participate in the research activities of the cardiac catheterization lab. There is an active patient database that can be used for clinical research. The lab is involved with testing of new devices as part of clinical trials.

Dr. Francis Kiernan, Director of Interventional Cardiology, provides overview of the cardiac cath lab rotation: