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Interventional Cardiology

Interventional Cardiology approaches the diagnoses and treatment of cardiovascular concerns through catheter-based procedures, and Ascension Crittenton continues to lead the way for Southeast Michigan.

As an accredited chest pain center we work closely with area EMS to get emergency heart care started even before the patient arrives at the door of ER. We coordinate with the emergency teams to receive the results of EKGs performed in the field so we can be prepared with the right team and technology to expedite life-saving care when you arrive.

The proof?

Recognized as one of the safest, lowest risk hospitals in the state for cardiac catheterization, Ascension Crittenton leads its peers in risk-adjusted ranking for:

  • Low incidence of transfusion
  • Low risk of major complication
  • Low risk of vascular complication


Our Interventional Cardiologists specialize in:

• Transradial Intervention
• Electrophysiology
• Peripheral vascular diagnostic and interventional procedures (including carotids)


Transradial Intervention

The focus of our program is on minimally invasive procedures, including stenting, ablation, pericardiocentesis, and particularly transradial intervention. These innovative and less invasive procedures allow our doctors to clear blocked arteries through the wrist instead of through the groin. According to Samer Kazziha, MD, Executive Director of Cardiovascular Services, the hospital’s top position on key quality indicators for cardiac catheterization can be largely attributed to transradial cardiac intervention.

“When appropriate for the individual patient, transradial catheterization is an excellent option,” says Dr. Kazziha. “Not only can it increase safety and reduce complication, these procedures can offer quicker recovery, allowing most transradial patients to return home the same day.”

Ascension Crittenton’s Shelton Heart Center was among the first facilities in the area to embrace transradial techniques for the management of heart attack, and is currently the leader in the percentage and overall number of these procedures performed annually. And our overall door-to-balloon time for STEMI patients is only 44.1 minutes – almost 10 minutes faster than other area hospitals and half the time of the national standard.


Cath Lab Team


Who is a candidate?

The biggest misconception regarding transradial access is that it should be used only for patients with difficult or failed femoral access. Patients are evaluated at the time to determine if they are a candidate, but ideal patients include:

Cath inset

  • 90% of the population are suitable for such a procedure
  • Obese individuals who are at increased risk of complications from the transfemoral (groin) approach
  • Those with severe peripheral vascular disease

Transradial procedures, when appropriate for the individual patient, can result in:

  • Significantly prevent vascular complications
  • Improved quality of life for the patient following their procedure
  • Same-day discharge from the hospital



Electrophysiology is the science of identifying, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart. An abnormal heart rhythm, or “arrhythmia,” is any change from the normal sequences of the heart’s electrical impulses. These abnormal electrical impulses may cause the heart to beat too quickly (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia), or erratically (atrial fibrillation). When the heart doesn’t beat properly, it can’t pump blood effectively, which can lead to damage to the lungs, brain, and all other organs.  An electrophysiologist may elect to utilize one of many courses of treatment for an arrhythmia, including ablation (destroying or scarring tissue), use of a device (pacemaker or defibrillator), medication, or they may suggest a combined course of care.

What is Electrophysiology used for:

• To determine what is causing an arrhythmia
• To diagnose risk and possible treatment
• To review the effectiveness of medication in treating an arrhythmia
• To consider catheter ablation as a treatment option
• To consider the implant of a pacemaker or ICD as an option


Peripheral Cardiovascular Procedures

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), or peripheral arterial disease (PAD), occurs when a blockage or damage to the peripheral blood vessels located away from the heart affect the ability to supply blood to the head, brain, neck, abdomen, and legs.

A peripheral angiogram or arteriogram may be done to examine the arteries. A contrast dye is injected into the arteries to make them, and any possible damage or blockage, visible when x-rayed.  If treatment is required your cardiologist may choose to perform procedures such as angioplasty (opening the area), atherectomy (removing the blockage), stenting (placing a small cylinder to keep the area open), or thrombolysis (using medication to break up an obstruction).



Atrial fibrillation can put you at major risk for a stroke. That a minimally invasive procedure can give a patient the chance at leading a normal life is not only remarkable, but incredibly rewarding.”

- Dr. Dipak Shah, Electrophysiologist


A patient presenting with severely restricted blood flow to the heart is a critical situation. Angioplasty allows us to alleviate that immediate concern, and to begin diagnosis and treatment toward long-term health.”

- Dr. Zakwan Mahjoub, Interventional Cardiologist

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