Diagnosing and Treating Heart Disease

Northern Nevada Medical Center offers a wide range of invasive and noninvasive services.

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Medical Center, call our free physician referral service at 775-356-6662.

Noninvasive Services

The noninvasive division of the cardiology unit performs a number of services, including:


This test uses sound waves to produce images of your heart that can help physicians identify most heart or valve abnormalities.

Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)

This test uses electrodes placed on your skin to record electrical activity in your heart.

Nuclear Scan

These tests use radioactivity to help doctors evaluate functional perfusion of blood to the heart muscle and identify any abnormalities. Radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream. If a particular area of heart muscle is not receiving adequate blood flow, little or no radioactivity will get into that part of the heart, and the images will show a dark spot in that area, surrounded by bright areas that show normal activity.

Pacemaker/Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

Pacemaker and ICD services include the evaluation, reprogramming and resynchronization therapies with optimization.

Stress Tests

Stress testing is a reliable and widely used method of evaluating patients who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. While stress tests usually are performed with treadmills, stress also can be induced using medication for patients who are unable to exercise effectively. We offer standard ECG/EKG exercise stress testing as well as nuclear and echo-guided stress tests.

Tilt Table Testing

These tests are used to evaluate patients who are having blackout spells or lightheadedness.

Invasive Services

The invasive, or interventional, cardiology division performs a wide range of medical services, including:

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a test that evaluates heart function, valve function and blood vessel disease. Thin, flexible tubes (catheters) are threaded through an artery from the patient’s groin or arm. A contrast dye may be injected through the catheter so that blockages can be seen on an X-ray screen.

If blockages are present, an interventional cardiologist may perform catheter-based intervention to open the artery and restore blood flow into the blocked artery.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral vascular intervention, a process similar to heart catheterization, is performed in the legs and other peripheral arteries.

Pacemaker/ICD Placement

Implantation of electrical devices to treat cardiac arrhythmias.

Electrophysiology Study

Electrophysiology studies test the electrical activity of your heart to find where an abnormal heartbeat is coming from. Heart attacks, aging and high blood pressure may cause scarring of the heart leading to an irregular heartbeat pattern. In addition, EPS can be used by physicians to see the impact medicine is having in the treatment of arrhythmia, to determine if a pacemaker might help you and if you are at risk for additional heart problems such as fainting and cardiac arrest.

The physician inserts one or more EP catheters into veins in your groin, arm or neck and threads them into the heart. Electrodes at the tip of catheters collect information about your heart's electrical activity and treat areas of your heart that are causing the problem.

In an Emergency

If you or a person you are with, experiences a possible cardiac emergency, don't hesitate. Call 9-1-1 immediately! Download the heart attack survival guide to learn more.

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Medical Center, call our free physician referral service at 775-356-6662.