Mayo Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The Mayo Clinic Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory's (CL) history spans 50 years of innovation and leadership in cardiac diagnosis and therapy. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and offers a full spectrum of services, performing approximately 7,000 procedures annually.

Mayo Clinic was among the first centers to pioneer diagnostic techniques via cardiac catheterization. More recently, Mayo Clinic has been a leader in the new area of catheter-based therapeutics, first with balloon angioplasty and repair of congenital heart defects, and more recently with septal ablation and percutaneous valve replacement.

The Catheterization Laboratory also collaborates with other specialty areas and offers treatment for carotid artery disease and Peripheral arterial disease.

The Catheterization Laboratory services are integrated into a clinical setting through the Mayo Interventional Cardiology Clinic. In the Interventional Cardiology Clinic, patients consult with physicians on the latest advances relevant to their condition and are then treated in the lab, usually the same day. Having treatment the same day greatly reduces the stress of waiting for care and the costs and logistic challenges associated with a longer stay or separate trip. Procedures also are performed on Saturdays.

Treatment is available to patients of all ages, including infants, and staff includes specialists in pediatric cardiology. Read more about treatment in children.

After treatment, patients have the option of continuing their care with a Mayo Clinic physician or may return to their own physician.

State-of-the-art technology

Cardiologists and staff have access to innovative technology that can extend treatment capabilities and reduce risks. The lab's stereotaxis computerized magnetic guidance system allows physicians to use magnets to more precisely manipulate wires and catheters in the heart, which increases physicians' ability to access and treat more complex or chronic coronary blockages without surgery. It also allows procedures to be completed in less time, reducing a patient's exposure to radiation.

Support systems such as intra-aortic balloon bump (IABP) and percutaneous left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) may be used when the procedure to be performed is very complex or the patient's left ventricular function is very poor.

A dynamic research program keeps Mayo Clinic at the forefront of the latest advances in medicine. Several members of the Catheterization Laboratory are involved in research and development of new technologies and techniques to expand and improve cardiac catheterization treatment. They conduct research and clinical trials on possible treatments, including procedures to replace heart valves via catheter. Read more about cardiovascular research on the research Web page.

Full spectrum of services

Diagnostic

  • Constriction and restriction studies
  • Coronary, carotid, renal, peripheral and other forms of angiography
  • Coronary physiology, endothelial and microcirculation assessment (coronary spasm study)
  • Endomyocardial biopsy
  • Evaluation of complex valvular disease
  • Full range of services for the transplant patient, including surveillance biopsies and ultrasound
  • Intracardiac and intravascular ultrasound
  • Left and right heart hemodynamic assessment

Therapeutic

Enhanced external counterpulsation treatment

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) treatment of refractory angina is available in the Catheterization Laboratory for patients who have severe blockages and who are unable to have bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty. The anticipated benefits of EECP may include increased energy, improved exercise tolerance and decreased frequency and severity of chest pain episodes. A treatment course consists of 35 one-hour sessions given during a seven-week period.

EECP is a nonsurgical outpatient treatment that may reduce symptoms of angina, and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. EECP is believed to work by improving heart and blood vessel function in a manner similar to that occurring during exercise. Symptoms are improved through the benefits of a more "efficient" heart and blood vessel system. Some research also has suggested that EECP may promote new vessels (coronary collateral circulation) around blocked arteries in the heart, directly increasing the blood circulation to the heart muscle.

Appointments

Appointments for treatment in the Mayo Clinic Catheterization Laboratory are made through the Mayo Clinic Interventional Cardiology Clinic or through a patient's Mayo Clinic physician. To schedule an appointment with a Mayo Clinic physician, call 507-284-3994 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central time, Monday through Thursday, and between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday.

Physician staff