East Tennessee Heart Consultants

Dedicated specialists leading the way to heart health ....

Meet Our Team

East Tennessee Heart Consultants

East Tennessee Heart Consultants - Physicians Regional Medical Center
  • 900 East Oak Hill AvenueSuites 500 & 600KnoxvilleTN37917
    Cardiovascular: Drs. Akhtar, Chaudhry, Cox, Doiron, Hookman, Hottigoudar, Irivbogbe, Martin, McCoy, Michelson, Rotondo, Ternay, Treasure
    900 East Oak Hill Avenue
    Suites 500 & 600
    Knoxville, TN 37917
  • (865) 647-5800
    (865) 647-5800
  • (865) 525-0245
    (865) 525-0245
East Tennessee Heart Consultants - Turkey Creek Medical Center
  • 10800 Parkside DriveSuite 331KnoxvilleTN 37934
    Cardiovascular: Drs. Bishop, Eichholz, Foster, Lindsay, Mehta, Patel, Reed, Sharma
    10800 Parkside Drive
    Suite 331
    Knoxville, TN 37934
  • (865) 392-3400
    (865) 392-3400
  • (865) 392-3449
    (865) 392-3449
East Tennessee Heart Consultants - North Knoxville
  • 7557B Dannaher DriveSuite G-35PowellTN37849
    Cardiovascular: Dr. Abazid
    7557B Dannaher Drive
    Suite G-35
    Powell, TN 37849
  • (865) 647-5800
    (865) 647-5800
  • (865) 673-4174
    (865) 673-4174

Glossary of Terms

Ablation: This is a treatment for abnormal heart rhythms. During ablation, a catheter is inserted into your heart then a special machine directs energy to tiny areas of the heart muscle that cause the abnormal rhythms. An ablation takes place in an Electrophysiology (EP) lab

Amiodarone: All medications have the potential to cause side effects, many of which can be quite dangerous. Amiodarone, a medication you are on to control a heart rhythm disturbance, is a very effective, and in the short term, one of the safest of drugs (especially in patients with kidney problems) used to treat rhythm problems. It is considered standard of care by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for the treatment of both ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. Amiodarone, however, has potential long-term side effects, which need to be watched for.

Pulmonary fibrosis, which is a hardening of the tissues in the lungs, occurs in about 4% of patients taking Amiodarone, and is something your physicians take very seriously. Pulmonary fibrosis can cause a progressive shortness of breath, which can be fatal if not treated. This is why your doctors will get routine X-rays, may get other, more specialized lung tests, and may even have you evaluated by a lung specialist if there are any questions. If it is determined that a patient has pulmonary fibrosis from Amiodarone, then the medication must be stopped to prevent further progression of the lung problems. It is very important if you are taking Amiodarone, and start having more shortness of breath, to tell your cardiologist so he can evaluate it. Certainly, there are other factors that not only cause shortness of breath, but can also cause pulmonary fibrosis. Tobacco smoking causes lung damage and can cause progressive shortness of breath. All patients who have any type of cardiac disease should stop smoking, as this is the major treatable cause of both heart and lung disease. Heart failure is another common cause of shortness of breath which can be present in cardiac patients, and which is usually treatable.

The most common eye problem associated with Amiodarone is the drug clouding of the cornea, which goes away if the drug is stopped, though this is both uncommon and usually not very much of a problem. There is an extremely rare inflammation of the optic nerve, which has caused blindness in a few patients. If you notice changes in your vision, tell your cardiologist so that a visit to an eye doctor can be arranged.

Amiodarone has iodine in it, and if your thyroid is sensitive to iodine, it may make your thyroid over or under active. This is why your thyroid is checked on a regular basis. A low thyroid is usually treated with a thyroid supplement, whereas an overactive thyroid usually requires us to stop the Amiodarone. Either over or under active thyroids can occur years after Amiodarone is started, so your doctor will be checking your thyroid regularly.

Amiodarone can make you more prone to getting a sunburn. Rarely, it can also cause a rash. In high doses, it can cause a blue skin discoloration.

Amiodarone commonly causes some elevation in some tests of liver function. This is rarely significant, and in very few patients will require discontinuation of the drug. Your cardiologist will be checking your liver tests on a regular basis.

Amiodarone can cause a specific type of nerve problems, which typically results in a weakness of the legs. There are other conditions that can also cause leg weakness, but a Neurologist can do certain test to diagnose if Amiodarone is contributing to the problem. If you notice progressive leg weakness, notify your cardiologist.

Amiodarone does not cause any problems with the kidneys, does not cause any types of arthritis, and is not associated with a significant worsening of heart failure. Thus, it is oftentimes the drug of choice in patients with either kidney problems, or significant heart failure.

Amiodarone does affect the dose of digoxin and coumadin (warfarin) that you may be taking, so your doctor will check these at times.

If you are being treated with Amiodarone for atrial fibrillation, and these possible side effects are concerning to you, it has recently been shown that leaving someone in atrial fibrillation, as long as the blood is thinned with warfarin (coumadin), does not increase the risk of shortening the patient’s lifespan. Many patients, however, feel bad in atrial fibrillation, and prefer the risk of drug therapy to how they feel in the atrial fibrillation. If you have questions about your options, please discuss it with your cardiologist.

Should you have any new symptoms after starting Amiodarone, or any drug for that matter, you should notify your cardiologist.

Angioplasty: Also known as balloon angioplasty, coronary artery balloon angioplasty and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) – a non-surgical procedure using tiny balloons to widen a narrowed artery.

 


 

Cardiac Catherization (Heart Cath): The cardiologist makes a small incision in either the groin area or arm and runs a smaller tube through a vein and into your heart. The doctor then shoots dye into the tube. Through a special x-ray, your doctor can then see if you have any signs of heart disease, evaluate the heart muscle and determine your need for further treatment. If any problems are discovered, the doctor will discuss treatment options with you.

Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT, Cardiact CT or Cardiac CAT Scan): A Cardiac CT uses traditional CT technology with intravenous contrast (dye) to visualize your heart, coronary circulation and great vessels. Your doctors use the Cardiac CT to evaluate your heart muscle, coronary arteries, pulmonary veins, thoracic aorta and the pericardium, which is the sac around the heart.

Cardiologist: A doctor specializing in the heart.

 


 

Echocardiogram (Echo or Ultrasound): An echocardiogram is an outline of the heart's movement. During the test, pictures are taken of your heart's valves and chambers. Your doctor uses the echo to assess your heart's function, determine if there is any disease present in the heart muscle, valves, heart tumors and congenital heart diseases. It also allows your doctor to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and follow the progress of valve disease.

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): The EKG is a device that records the electrical activity of the heart onto graph paper. The picture, or line, is drawn by a computer based on information transmitted by the 10 electrodes that are attached to the skin of your chest, arms and legs. The doctor uses the EKG to assess your heart rhythm and diagnose heart problems and abnormalities.

Electrophysiology: A branch of cardiology that studies the electrical processes of the heart. An EP is a heart rhythm specialist.

Electrophysiology Study (EP Study): An EP Study records the electrical activity of your heart. The test helps your doctor determine the cause of a heart rhythm disturbance and the best treatment for you.

 


 

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD): An ICD is a device that constantly monitors your heart rhythm and rate. When it detects that your heart is beating very fast or abnormal, the ICD delivers energy to the muscle that causes the heart to return to a normal rhythm. There are different types of ICDs, and your doctor programs the ICD to perform functions depending upon the type of abnormal heart rhythm.

Interventional Cardiology: A specialized area of cardiology that treats heart disease with catheters to improve blood flow.

 


 

Myocardial Perfusion Study (Nuclear Test): Images of the heart muscle are taken by a special camera, which allows your doctor to evaluate whether there is any wall of your heart muscle not receiving adequate blood supply. The study will help your doctor determine your risk of having a heart attack, damage done to the muscle by previous heart attacks and how well each wall of the heart muscle is pumping.

 


Pacemaker: A pacemaker is a device that is implanted in the heart. It sends electrical impulses to the heart muscle to coordinate your heart's pumping and improve the blood flow. In other words, a pacemaker helps maintain your heart rate and rhythm.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA): Your doctor uses a small balloon on the end of a catheter to flatten plaque against the wall of an artery. This stretches the artery open to increase blood flow to the heart.

 


 

Stent: A small wire mesh frame that is placed inside an artery to reduce the chance of artery renarrowing and hold the artery open. Today's stents are coated with medicine that helps reduce the risk of reblockage.

Stress Test: This test provides information about how your heart responds to stress. Usually, it involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty while the EKG, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. Your doctor can determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during activity, determine the likelihood of having other heart problems and evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment plan.

 


 

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE): TEE is a special type of echocardiogram. A tube with an echocardiogram transducer on the end is passed down a persons throat into the esophagus. The esophagus is right behind the heart, and images from TEE can give a very clear picture of the heart and it's structures.

 


 

This information was compiled by staff members and reviewed by the clinical management staff at East Tennessee Heart Consultants.

This information is provided for education purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition or procedure, or contact East Tennessee Heart Consultants if you would like to make an appointment.