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Cardiac Tests and Procedures

The following diagnostic tests to diagnose heart problems are performed by specialists at Tanner Heart and Vascular Centers in Carrollton and Villa Rica:

cardiac ablation


Ablation uses a small wire at the end of a catheter to scar, or “ablate,” small areas in the heart that are causing irregular heart rhythms. Ablations are used to treat supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia and premature ventricular contractions.


Angiography — also called a cardiac cath or heart cath — is a test to check the blood flow in your coronary arteries, as well as blood flow and blood pressure in the chambers of the heart. This test shows how well your heart valves work and detects any defects in the way the walls of you heart moves. Learn more about angiography.

Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Calcium scoring uses a computer tomography (CT) scan to diagnose the presence and extent of calcified plaque inside your coronary arteries. You receive a "calcium score." A low score means that no calcification is present, while a high score means that atherosclerosis, or coronary artery disease (CAD), is present.

illustration of circulatory system
tanner cath lab

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization (also called a heart cath angiography) is a test in which a small, hollow tube called a catheter is guided through the large artery in your upper leg, wrist or arm into your heart. Dye is released through the catheter, and moving X-ray pictures are made as the dye travels through the heart.

This comprehensive test shows narrowed areas in the arteries, heart chamber size, pumping ability of the heart and ability of the valves to open and close, as well as a measurement of the pressures within the heart chambers and arteries.

Cardiac CT Scan

A computer tomography (CT) scan — sometimes called a "CAT" scan — uses X-rays and a powerful computer to generate clear three-dimensional and cross-sectional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Cardiac PET/CT

Positron emission tomography, or PET, uses a radioactive drug called a “tracer” that pools in areas of the body with elevated levels of chemical activity. When used in combination with a cardiac CT scan, highly detailed images of your heart can be used for diagnosis.

Carotid Ultrasound

Carotid ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the insides of the two carotid arteries in your neck, which supply your brain with blood. The test determines if a material called plaque has narrowed your carotid arteries. A blockage in these arteries can lead to a stroke.

illustration of circulatory system

Coronary Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL)

Prior to implanting a stent, an interventional cardiologist at Tanner Health System may elect to use the Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) System to open the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart because they are narrowed or blocked due to calcification.

The interventional cardiologist makes a small incision in the patient’s arm or leg to insert the Shockwave IVL balloon catheter. The integrated lithotripsy emitters at the end of the catheter create pressure waves that break up the calcification that is restricting the blood flow in one or more coronary arteries.

After using the Shockwave system, the doctor will perform an angioplasty inside the now opened blood vessel and implant a metal tube called a stent to keep the vessel open.

CardioMEMS HF System

The CardioMEMS™ HF System enables earlier and more proactive heart failure treatment to slow down heart failure progression and keep patients out of the hospital.

Pulmonary artery pressure monitoring provides early detection of worsening heart failure, long before symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, ankles and legs and weight gain.

How does it work? A sensor is inserted via heart catheterization. The patient takes daily pressure readings from the comfort of their home, and that data is wirelessless transmitted to the patient's cardiologist so that any needed adjustments to their medications and/or lifestyle can be made without a hospital or clinic visit.

The CardioMEMS HF System is the leading remote heart failure monitoring device with more than 25,000 patients using the system, and it is now approved for even more people in earlier stages of heart failure. This may include congestive heart failure, left-sided heart failure, or right-sided heart failure. Learn more about CardioMEMS HF.


An echocardiogram, or “echo” test, uses a sound-wave transducer to bounce sound waves off your heart and create a two-dimensional image of your heart on a screen. This noninvasive test is used to determine how well your heart is functioning and detect any problems with your heart. Learn more about echocardiograms.

Fractional Flow Reserve

Fractional flow reserve, or FFR, is a guide wire-based procedure that can accurately measure blood pressure and flow through a specific part of a coronary artery. The measurement of FFR determines the severity of any narrowing in your coronary arteries and helps doctors assess if they need to perform angioplasty or stenting on a blockage to improve blood flow to your heart.

Holter Monitor

A Holter monitor is small, portable, battery-powered ECG machine worn by a person to record heartbeats on tape over a period of 24 to 48 hours during normal activities. At the end of the time period, the monitor is returned to the doctor’s office so the tape can be read and evaluated. Learn more about Holter monitoring.

mri machine


MRA/MRI Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of your heart. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a specialized type of MRI used to evaluate blood vessels in the heart. Learn more about MRA and MRI.

Nuclear Stress Test

During a nuclear stress test, safe, radioactive agents called “tracers” are injected into a vein to produce an image of your heart. This test may be used in conjunction with a regular stress test; however, is also used to simulate the effects of exercise on the heart if you are physically unable to exercise. Learn more about nuclear stress testing.

Pacemaker Insertion

Pacemaker insertion is the implantation of a pacemaker — a device to help regulate electrical problems with your heart — into your chest just below your collarbone. This is generally an outpatient procedure. Learn more about pacemakers and pacemaker implantation.


Pulmonary Embolism Thrombectomy

Pulmonary embolism, or PE, can happen when a clot forms in a blood vessel in another part of the body, often the leg, then travels to the lungs. Blood flow makes the clot grow bigger and spread, often to multiple vessels. Patients struggle to breathe and feel sudden chest pain. The blockage increases pressure and can also restrict blood flow to the heart, which is life-threatening.

But now, patients with pulmonary embolism who present to Tanner’s ER can be treated the same or next day using the Inari FlowTriever to perform pulmonary embolism thrombectomy. Other clot-busting devices may push through clots to break them up, then use thrombolytic drugs to dissolve small pieces. FlowTriever is the first device of this size and effectiveness to be approved to pull out, or aspirate, clots in large vessels such as the lung’s pulmonary arteries, using vacuum power. There’s no need for thrombolytic drugs to dissolve clots or an ICU stay for patients. The procedure usually takes an hour, and patients often go home the next day.

Rotational Atherectomy

Rotational atherectomy is a minimally invasive procedure utilized for treating coronary artery disease (CAD). It employs a small, diamond-coated burr or drill introduced into the affected artery to eliminate plaque buildup and reinstate blood flow. 

Stress Test

During a stress test, or exercise electrocardiogram, you walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike while a technician monitors your heart. Breathing and blood pressure rates are also monitored. A stress test may be used to detect coronary artery disease or to determine safe levels of exercise following a heart attack or heart surgery.  Learn more about stress tests.

Tilt Table Test

During a tilt table test, you are connected to ECG and blood pressure monitors and strapped to a table that tilts you from a lying to standing position. This test is used to determine if you are prone to sudden drops in blood pressure or slow pulse rates with position changes. Learn more about tilt table testing.

To schedule an appointment for a cardiac test or procedure at a Tanner Heart and Vascular Center, have a physician’s order ready and call Tanner Central Scheduling at 770-812-9721.

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