Category Archives: Diagnostic Services

Cardiac Catheterization (Angiography)

Cardiac (heart) catheterization is also known as cardiac “cath” or coronary angiography. During this test the doctor puts a thin plastic tube into a blood vessel in your leg or arm and moves it up to your heart. Then the doctor injects a fluid through the tube to the heart. The fluid shows up on X-ray and can show whether any of the arteries in your heart are clogged.

In this test, a short tube (sheath) is inserted into a vein or artery in your leg (groin) or arm. A hollow, flexible and longer tube (guide catheter) is then inserted into the sheath. Aided by X-ray images on a monitor a doctor threads the guide catheter through that artery until it reaches your heart. The pressures in your heart chambers can be measured, and dye can be injected. The dye can be seen on an X-ray, which helps a doctor see the blood flow through your heart, blood vessels and valves to check for abnormalities.

Exercise Tolerance Test

An Exercise Tolerance Test or Stress Test is used to provide information about how the heart responds to stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. By placing the stress of exercise on the heart, the test can help to determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart during increasing activity and help to determine the best cardiac treatment plan for you.

Nuclear Cardiology/Thallium Scan

A thallium scan is a nuclear imaging test that shows how well blood flows into the heart while you’re exercising or at rest. This test is also called a cardiac or nuclear stress test.

During the procedure, a radioisotope (nuclear liquid) is administered through an IV. The radioisotope will flow through your blood stream and end up in your heart. Once the radiation is in your heart, a special camera called a gamma camera can detect the radiation and reveal any issues your heart muscle is having.


A chest X-ray (also called chest film) uses a very small amount of radiation to produce an image of the heart, lungs, and chest bones on film. It is done to look at the structures of the chest (bones, heart, lungs), evaluate placement of devices (pacemakers, defibrillators) or tubes placed during hospitalization for treatment and monitoring (catheters, chest tubes) and diagnose lung and cardiac diseases.


Clinical Laboratory

Around 60-70% of medical decisions are primarily based on Laboratory test results which makes the NICVD Clinical Laboratory an integral part of our institute. We offer a large number of tests in the areas of Biochemistry, Haematology, Microbiology, Molecular Pathology, Blood Bank and Transfusion.

Being well equipped and fully automated, our laboratory is supervised by highly qualified faculty and well trained technologists and technicians. Quality assurance through accuracy and precision in testing are maintained by consultants and superiors daily as well as by regularly participating in external programs such as the National External Quality Assurance Program Pakistan of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Clinical Chemistry – Cardiac Tropnin Assay
Lipid Profile
Arterial Blood Gases (ABGs)

Clinical Chemistry

The Clinical Chemistry Section of our Lab deals with the biochemical basis of disease and biochemical tests for the purpose of diagnosis and management. It relates to all medical specialties bringing together science in medicine of cardiac patients. It involves receiving and processing sections, routine chemistry sections and special chemistry sections.
Blood and urine samples are received from the phlebotomy areas of the main lab, wards, CCU and emergency. These samples are processed prior to distribution of each sub-section for biochemical analysis. The tests are then performed through auto analyzers (Cobbas P/800)

Cardiac Troponin Assay

The deduction and /or fall of CTA (CTn) play a key role in the earlier diagnosis of myocardial infarction. CTs are markers Myocardial necrosis and because of their high cardiac specificity, they are preferred biomarkers for diagnosis of MI.


This subsection deals with routine tests such as Complete Blood Count (CBC) which includes estimation of Hemoglobin, Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Platelets and Differential. About 600 CBC tests are performed in the NICVD lab per day.


The Coagulation section is well-equipped with latest automated coagulation analyzers, carrying out various haemostatic profiles within a very short span of time. More than 500 tests are performed in this section daily.

Lipid Profile

Lipid Profile is also known as Lipid Panel or Coronary Risk Panel. Related tests include Cholesterol, High Density Lipoproteins Cholesterol (HDL-C), Low Density Lipoproteins Cholesterol (LDL-C), Triglycerides, Direct LDL Cholesterol, Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) and Cardiac Arrest Assessment.
A typical Lipid Profile includes:-
Total Cholesterol – [HDL+LDL+20% of Triglycerides]
HDL-C or Good Cholesterol as it removes excess cholesterol and carries it to the liver for removal
LDL-C or Bad Cholesterol as it deposits excess cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels which contribute to Atherosclerosis.
Triglycerides [fat in the blood]

Arterial Blood Gases (ABGs)

ABG tests measure the acidity (PH) and levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood from an artery. This test is used to check how well your lungs are able to move oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide out of the blood drawn from an artery where oxygen and carbon dioxide levels can be measured. NICVD Lab performs more than 100 ABGs per day.