When a heart attack strikes, you need fast, expert treatment. Duke cardiologists use the latest diagnostic, medical, interventional, and surgical advances, including heart bypass surgery, to open blocked arteries, restore blood flow, minimize damage to your heart muscle, and increase your chances for survival. We also help you adopt and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. Our goal is to help you improve your heart health and return you to your normal activities as soon as possible.
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Measures the presence of proteins and enzymes that are released into the bloodstream when heart muscle cells are damaged during a heart attack.
Small electrodes are placed on your skin to record your heart’s electrical impulses. The tracings may help identify risk for or prior heart muscle damage. This test is performed by emergency medical teams prior to arrival at the hospital, when possible, to speed access to lifesaving treatment.
A stress test is an ECG that’s performed while you walk on a treadmill or ride a bike, or when a chemical is used to stimulate your heart. A stress test is used to monitor changes in your heart’s function when it’s under stress that may indicate coronary artery disease.
An ultrasound probe is moved over the surface of your chest to capture moving images of your heart. This allows us to determine your heart’s chamber dimensions, shape, valve structures, and overall function.
A stress echocardiogram is performed while you walk on a treadmill or ride a bike, or when a chemical is used to stimulate the heart. A stress echocardiogram is used to monitor changes in your heart’s function while it’s under stress that may indicate coronary artery disease.
3-D Transesophogeal Echocardiogram
An ultrasound probe passed through your esophagus is used to capture sound waves that create highly detailed, close-up 3-D images of your heart’s chamber dimensions, shape, valve structures, and overall function.
Flexible catheters are guided through a blood vessel to your heart to look for blockages and overall heart function. Contrast dye is injected and X-rays are taken to capture images of your heart, coronary arteries, and other blood vessels.
CT Coronary Angiography
A contrast agent is injected into your arm and a CT scan produces highly detailed 3-D images of your coronary arteries to help identify anatomy and blockages.
Radio waves, magnets, and a computer create still and moving images of your overall heart structure, heart muscle function, blood vessels, and surrounding structures.
Single-Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) Scan
3-D images of your heart and arteries are created after a radioactive substance is injected into your blood vessels.
Nuclear Cardiac Testing
Radioactive dye is used during imaging to create pictures of blood flow through your heart. This test may be done at rest or with exercise. It helps to evaluate overall heart function.
Why Choose Duke
Leaders in Prompt Heart Attack Treatment
Duke was a key participant in developing a statewide program to ensure patients having a heart attack are evaluated quickly and treated promptly to minimize damage to their heart muscle. This nationally recognized RACE (Reperfusion of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Carolina Emergency Departments) Program has improved survival for people suffering from heart attacks.
Nationally Recognized for Heart Attack Care
Duke University Hospital is recognized by the American Heart Association for cardiac care and for its role in improving and coordinating the quality of care for people who experience life-threatening heart attacks.
High-Volume Cardiac Catheterization Center
Our cardiologists perform more than 5,500 cardiac catheterizations each year, including interventional procedures. Our interventional cardiologists perform high volumes of interventional percutaneous coronary interventions -- the most effective immediate treatment for heart attack -- and stent placements to open blocked arteries.
Heart Bypass Surgery for High-Risk Patients
We perform heart bypass surgery on high-risk patients, as well as on patients with complex conditions involving multiple blockages or blockages in difficult-to-reach locations. As a result, we offer procedures to people who have been declined at other centers.
More Surgical Options
Our surgeons perform routine and complex surgeries and offer minimally invasive techniques when appropriate. During coronary artery bypass, we use small incisions to obtain the veins needed, resulting in less scarring and faster recovery.
Access to Novel Therapies
As a Duke patient, you may be eligible to participate in clinical trials that test novel heart treatments and surgical techniques before they are widely available.
Support for Your Recovery
Our cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program gives you the resources you need -- nutrition counseling, exercise instruction, stress management, smoking cessation programs, and more -- to overcome the impact of a heart attack, establish lifestyle changes, and maintain your heart health.