1st Department of Cardiology/Electrophysiology and Pacing
The 1st Department of Cardiology / Electrophysiology and Pacing provides diagnosis and treatment for the entire range of heart diseases. It is staffed by experienced clinical cardiologists with significant scientific credentials. The department operates fully organized outpatient cardiology clinics and laboratories, which conduct thorough cardiac evaluations by performing all the required clinical tests and examinations.
Furthermore, department is among the leading laboratories in Greece, performing a large number of invasive procedures every year. It is staffed by experienced and renowned invasive electrophysiologists, who can treat the entire range of cardiac arrhythmias, either by performing cardiac ablation procedures or by implanting cardiac rhythm management devices where needed.
Outpatient clinics and laboratories:
- Preoperative cardiac screening clinic: This unit performs the required pre-operative screening, including clinical examinations, imaging and other laboratory studies, in order to ensure that all patients who are scheduled to undergo any type of surgical intervention are treated according to the most recent international guidelines and enjoy the highest possible level of safety.
- Echocardiography laboratory: This unit performs two-and three-dimensional transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiographic studies (3D echo), utilizing state-of-the-art ultrasound machines.
- Stress testing laboratory: This unit employs modern equipment in order to perform stress tests aiming at risk stratification of patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Moreover, in cooperation with the Department of Nuclear Medicine and utilizing the latest generation of γ-cameras, we perform myocardial perfusion scintigraphy.
- Ambulatory heart rhythm and blood pressure monitoring laboratory.
- Heart failure and pulmonary hypertension clinic.
- Furthermore, in the area of Electrophysiology and Pacing, non invasive tests are performed in patients with episodes of loss of consciousness, such as tilt testing, as well as in patients with suspected primary electrical heart disorders for stratification of arrhythmic risk (pharmacological assays in patients with suspected Brugada syndrome). In addition, electrical cardioversions of atrial fibrillation are performed in a specially designed area ensuring, through meticulous preparation and a controlled environment, optimal outcomes and patient safety.
- In the two suites of the electrophysiology laboratory pacemaker implantation procedures (in patients with bradyarrhythmias) and cardiac defibrillator or biventricular pacing device implantation procedures (in patients with organic heart disease and increased risk of sudden death) are performed. For patients who are more likely to be subjected to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the future, the department uses the latest generation devices that are also compatible with MRIs. In addition, subcutaneous microscopic heart rhythm recording devices (implantable loop recorders, ILRs) can be implanted in patients with a suitable indication (e.g., syncopal episodes of unknown etiology).
- Regarding the field of invasive electrophysiology, electrophysiological studies and ablation procedures are performed for the treatment of both supraventricular tachycardias (atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, accessory pathway mediated tachycardias [WPW syndrome] and atrial tachycardias) as well as complex tachycardias, such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. These procedures are performed using all available in clinical practice ablation systems. Epicardial ablation can also performed in patients with ventricular tachycardia where needed, using the same techniques applied in major electrophysiological centers all over the world.
- In our department, arrhythmia ablation procedures are performed by the administration of radiofrequency energy using all three major electroanatomic mapping systems (CARTO 3, NavX Velocity, Rhythmia), or by cryoballoon ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation (cryoablation). Our department is always at the leading edge when it comes to the application of the newest available therapies for treating arrhythmias, often being the first to introduce the latest methods in Greece and participating as the only department in Greece in major international studies (SPICE study, Cryo4-Persistent AF study) in the field of electrophysiology/pacing. Finally, our department is the first in Greece and the surrounding countries to perform interventions using the latest generation cryoballoon system and the innovative Rhythmia system.
Scientific activity: The department is actively involved in many multicenter studies and is a coordinating center for several of them. Its significant body of scientific work includes numerous publications in international and Greek scientific journals. The department’s cardiologists participate as speakers in a large number of conferences held in Greece and abroad, while the Department’s director is the president of the Institute for the Study and Education of Thrombosis and Antithrombotic Therapy (I.S.E.T.A.T.), a member of the board of directors of the Hellenic Cardiovascular Research Society (H.C.R.S.) and scientific consultant of the Hellenic Heart Foundation.The Department is also actively involved in conferences in Greece and abroad, with the department’s physicians participating as speakers or chairmen in more than 100 conferences per year. In collaboration with the Department of Electrophysiology & Pacing of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, our Department co-organizes the annual Workshop on Arrhythmias, the longest standing electrophysiology/pacing conference in our country.
- Goulis Alkiviadis
- Stathopoulou Polyxeni
- Takos Dimitrios
- Chimonas Theodoros
- Parzakonis Nikolaos
- Tsakonas Kallinokos
The department is able to provide modern medical care in the treatment of heart disease thanks to the availability of state-of-the-art equipment, such as: Equipment for conducting non invasive diagnostic tests:
- HDI 3000CV PHILIPS Ultrasound machine
- SIEMENS Acuson CV70 Ultrasound machine
- Cardioline digital ECG Electrocardiograph
- SONY Marquette Case 8000 Stress Test System
- Marquette Series 2000 Treadmill Stress Test System
- Holter ECG, 7 portable units: 2 Aria, 1 Lifeard, 4 digicorder
- Ambulatory Blood Pressure Holter Space Labs, Medical (5 units)
The above medical technology is used for:
- Treadmill stress testing
- Transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography
- Pharmacologic stress myocardial perfusion imaging (stress echo)
- 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)
- 24 hour ECG Holter monitoring (heart rhythm monitoring)
- Monitoring and testing of pacemaker function
- Non invasive electrophysiological studies