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Early diagnosis and proper treatment are critical in the fight against heart disease. One of the most powerful tools you and your physician have in the fight against cardiovascular disease is early diagnosis of a problem.GWTG 2011

Diagnostic Tests

Our interdisciplinary team of compassionate, cardiovascular experts uses the latest technology and procedures to pinpoint the nature and scope of the problem.

The diagnostic tests, which are available today, can assist doctors in determining if you have heart or vascular disease. If you already know that you have heart or vascular disease, these tests can show if your disease is progressing and guide the treatment that is best suited to your needs.

Your doctor will determine which test is best for you, based on your family and medical history and symptoms.

During your first examination, your doctor may listen to your heart sounds with a stethoscope and determine your blood pressure, using a blood pressure cuff and a blood pressure machine called a sphygmomanometer. Your doctor may also take an x-ray of your heart to see its outline or shape. Other tests that may be of benefit to you that are performed at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center are listed below.

These are diagnostic tests, which can be performed on an outpatient basis, and will not require an overnight stay.

Should you or a loved one need more invasive procedures such as Cardiac Angioplasty, Cardiac or Vascular Stenting, or Cardiac Surgery, St. Joseph’s team of Invasive Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons provide the highest level of care while using the most current technology available.

To ensure that our patients receive the best care possible before and after their invasive procedures, we provide Cardiac Rehabilitation for both our inpatients and outpatients to assist them with a rapid recovery with our Nationally Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Team.


For additional information, please see the drop-down list on the right side of this page.

Cardiac Catheterization-Diagnostic


Cardiac Catheterization, also called cardiac cath and cardiac angiogram, is an invasive imaging procedure that allows your cardiologist to evaluate your hearts function and ability to pump blood. The cardiac cath enables your doctor to determine if you have coronary artery disease, aortic, or valve disease, as well as help determine if you need further tests or treatments.

During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter (long, thin tube) is inserted into a transducer (a short, hollow tube), which sits in an arm or leg vessel. The catheter is carefully guided, with the assistance of fluoroscopy (moving x-ray images) to the coronary arteries of the heart. The cardiologist uses a “contrast agent” (non-ionic dye) to visualize the heart and coronary arteries.

Electrophysiology Studies (E.P.S.) use cardiac catheterization techniques to study patients who have “irregular heartbeats,” which is also known as arrhythmias.

An electrophysiology study uses electrical stimulation to show how the heart reacts to controlled electrical stimulus. The signals help the physician identify where an arrhythmia starts and what medicines or other procedures, such as a catheter ablation, would work best to stop the irregular impulses. Electrophysiology studies are conducted in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

For additional information, please contact the Cardiac Catheterization Scheduling Office:  973.754.2330.

Cardiac Catheterization-Interventional


The Cardiac Catheterization Interventional procedure is much like the Cardiac Catherization Diagnostic procedure; however, if a blockage were identified, an interventional procedure would be used to open the blocked artery.

Cardiac Interventional procedures include Balloon Angioplasty, Stent placement, Rotablation or cutting balloon.

For additional information, please contact the Cardiac Catheterization Scheduling office:  973.754.2330.

Cardiac Catheterization-Lab


Cardiac Catherization LabThe renovated and expanded Cardiac Catheterization Lab at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital combines state-of-the-art technology with an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. Our many amenities are part of our patient-oriented environment, designed to reduce the stress so often associated with medical tests.


Our patients are admitted directly to our recovery area where they will be prepared for their procedure. Heated blankets keep them warm and comfortable, while beautiful lighted ceiling murals over each bed provide a source of relaxation. Family members are welcome to stay with their loved ones during the entire pre- and post-procedure recovery time.

Under the leadership of our Medical Director, Dr. Rex Ghassemi, our skilled physicians also perform peripheral and renal angiograms for treatment of hypertension, leg pain or claudication. Additionally, abnormal findings are treated using laser, balloon angioplasty and stenting. Most interventions are performed as same day procedures, allowing patients to return home later that same day.

Cath Lab RecoverySt. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital has been selected as a site that is able to offer carotid artery stenting as an alternative treatment for high surgical-risk patients in the Sapphire Worldwide Registry. Carotid artery stenting is an effective treatment to prevent stroke for patients with carotid artery blockage. In addition, St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital was the first Medicare approved site in New Jersey for performing carotid artery stenting with distal protection. All interventional patients are followed post procedure at regular intervals to assure continuity of care with proper adjunctive medical services as indicated.

For additional information, please contact: 
Jim Pabian, Catheterization Lab Manager, 973.956.3326.

Cardiac Nuclear Stress Testing


A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle at rest and during stress. Performed similar to a routine exercise stress test, a nuclear stress test provides images in addition to electrocardiograms.

During a nuclear stress test, a radioactive substance is injected into your bloodstream. This substance mixes with your blood and travels to your heart. A special scanner — which detects the radioactive material in your heart — creates images of your heart muscle. Inadequate blood flow to any part of your heart will show up as a light spot on the images — because not as much of the radioactive substance is getting there.

For additional information, please contact us:  973.754.2310.

Cardiac Rehabilitation


Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help you recover after a heart attack, other forms of heart disease, or after cardiac surgery. Cardiac rehabilitation provides monitored exercise, nutritional counseling, emotional support, and education about lifestyle changes to help in reducing your risk of heart problems.  Our cardiac rehabilitation program is nationally certified.

For additional information, please contact us:  973.754.2352.

Cardiac Surgery Program


Our Cardiac Surgery team’s number one priority is to return our patients to their normal functioning level as soon as possible after their surgery.

Using state-of-the-art technology, our multidisciplinary team of physicians, physician assistants, Magnet Award winning nurses and medical technicians work closely with our surgeons to provide the highest level of care in each phase of our patient’s surgery and recovery. This high level of caring extends to the patient’s family and loved ones.


Our cardiac surgery program provides the following surgical procedures:

  • Traditional coronary bypass surgery
  • Off-pump bypass surgery
  • Valve repair
  • Valve replacement surgery
  • Surgical procedures to treat atrial fibrillation

For additional information, please contact us:  973.754.2486.


An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. The images from the echocardiogram are used to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves.

For additional information, please contact us:  973.754.2310.


An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a routine test that is used to look at the electrical activity of the heart. The electrical activity is transcribed into a graph form called the EKG. Your doctor can use an electrocardiogram to look for patterns among these heartbeats and rhythms to diagnose various heart conditions.

  • Holter Monitoring – Also known as ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG), this is a continuous, 24-hour recording of the heart’s electrical activity. It detects abnormal heart rhythms that may occur during normal activities of daily living.


  • Ambulatory Blood Pressure (BP) Monitoring – An automatic, lightweight, and quiet arm cuff provides multiple blood pressure readings over an extended length of time, usually 24 hours.

To schedule an appointment for a Holter or Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor, please contact us:  973.754.2340.

For additional information, please contact us: 973.754.2310.

Stress Echocardiography


Echocardiography uses sound waves to produce an image of the heart and to see how it is functioning. A stress echocardiography enables the doctor to see the wall motion of the heart's pumping chambers before and after exercise. The test can show if certain areas of the heart muscle are not getting enough oxygen-rich blood and not working properly.

If your doctor wants you to have a stress echocardiogram, you will have the same test as an exercise stress test except that when your heart rate reaches a certain number you will be asked to step off of the treadmill or stationary bike and lie down. Once you lie down, ultrasound images will be taken of your heart.


For patients who are too sick to exercise, doctors can give them a drug that has the same effect on the body that exercise does (increases the heart rate). Some examples of the drugs that may be given are dobutamine or adenosine. You may hear this type of test called a dobutamine stress echo.

For additional information or to schedule a stress echocardiogram, please contact us:  973.754.2310.

Stress Testing


Stress testing provides information about how the heart responds to stress. Stress tests are often performed by having the patient walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike, with periodic increases in difficulty. Before, during, and after the stress test, your heart rate, EKG, and blood pressure are monitored and recorded.

A stress test assists your doctor in determining the likelihood of your having cardiac disease, and the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment, if you do have cardiac disease. A stress test also helps to determine if you have enough blood flowing to your heart during stress or increased activity.

For additional information, please contact us:  973.754.2310.

Transesophageal Echocardiography

Much like a regular cardiac echocardiogram, a transesophageal echo (TEE) also uses sound waves to produce images of the heart. During the transesophageal echocardiogram test, an ultrasound transducer, which is positioned on an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter), is placed into your mouth and passed into your esophagus, the "food pipe" leading from your mouth into your stomach, to provide a closer look at your heart's valves and chambers, without interference from the ribs or lungs.

For additional information, please contact us:  973.754.2310.



CT ScanThe Cardiopulmonary Department at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital provides cardiology and respiratory therapy services to patients.

The Cardiology Department provides non-invasive cardiac and neurological testing to both inpatients and outpatients.  Procedures performed include echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiograms, Holter monitor set up and scanning, cardiac event monitoring, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and electroencephalograms.

The department is staffed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, with both an Echo Technician and an EEG/Cardiac Technician.  Additionally, an Echo Technician works Sundays to complete echocardiograms that have been ordered for inpatients.  

The department also provides respiratory care in the areas of patient assessment, treatment of pulmonary impairment and the evaluation of therapy effectiveness.  Procedures performed include the administration of aerosol therapy, chest physio-therapy, initiation and management of mechanical ventilation, ABG analysis, pulmonary function testing, and oxygen set-up and maintenance.  Our respiratory therapists also perform emergency intubations.

All Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) are licensed by the State of New Jersey, and are responsible for providing all levels of services.  All RCPs are certified to perform arterial puncture.

All inpatient respiratory therapy is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  Diagnostic testing is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For outpatient appointments, please contact:  973.956.3725

For additional questions, please contact:
Jon Africano, Director of Cardiopulmonary, St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital:  973.956.3710



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