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The Joint Commission

Heart and Vascular

The Heart Catheterization Lab and Vascular Imaging Lab at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center incorporate the latest state-of-the-art medical technology by Philips, known throughout the medical industry for their outstanding image quality, low x-ray radiation dose to both the patient and the staff, and lower procedure cost because the digital equipment eliminates the need for film and film processing. Some of the services performed in the lab are:

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • PTCA - Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (balloon)
  • PTA - Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (balloon on peripheral vessels, renals, etc.)
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps
  • Stents - both coronary and peripheral
  • Renal Angiography
  • Peripheral Angiography
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Temporary Pacemakers
  • Intravascular Ultrasound
  • AngioJet
  • Drug-Eluding Stents (as they become available for use)
  • Atherectomy (peripheral)
  • Vena Cava Filters
  • IVUS - Intravascular Ultrasound

Also, a new heart disease treatment is now available at AMMC and has proven to be beneficial to patients with diabetes. Research shows a strong connection between coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes, with CAD being the cause of death in more than half of the total diabetes population.


Historically it’s been difficult to treat CAD patients with diabetes because they tend to have smaller coronary arteries and persistently elevated blood-sugar levels, which can increase the rate of procedural complications and long-term safety risks. As a result, many of these patients have undergone open heart surgery.


Now, Arkansas Methodist Medical Center is one of the first in the area to offer a newly approved medical device used during a minimally-invasive procedure to open narrowed coronary arteries that has been approved to treat CAD patients, even those with diabetes. Based on the clinical data, the Resolute Integrity Drug-Eluting Stent (DES) from Medtronic received the first and only approval from the FDA in early 2012 to treat heart disease patients who also have diabetes.

If you have diabetes, it’s important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and take the appropriate steps to manage your heart disease. While diabetes alone is a risk factor for CAD, other risk factors for CAD include:

·         Smoking or history of smoking

·         High blood pressure

·         High cholesterol

·         Obesity

·         Family history of heart disease


If you’ve been diagnosed with advanced CAD and need to undergo treatment, rest assured that Interventional Cardiologists Dr. Allen Duplantis, Dr. Ammar Hallak and Dr. Samuel Mortoti at AMMC have access to the newest clinical advancements for people with diabetes and practice the latest in evidence-based medicine to benefit our patients.

Heart Catheterization Lab
Patients may come to the hospital in crisis, suffering from severe chest pains or shortness of breath.

Patients range in age from teenagers to the elderly, but most are between the ages of 55 and 65. They proceed to the Heart Catheterization Lab for testing procedures such as a "heart cath". Patients are tested to see if there is a blockage in the arteries that lead to the heart.

Once they are diagnosed, they receive treatments like the traditional angioplasty or a stent, which is a device that is inserted to keep the valve clear. The AMMC Heart Catheterization Lab plays a critical role helping save the lives of individuals coming into the Medical Center with heart problems.

Warning Signs and Risk Factors

Watch Out For:

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath (call doctor immediately)
  • Women may have different symptoms, such as jaw pain or shoulder pain

Risk Factors:

  • Diet
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Family History
  • Stress Level

For more information on risk factors and warning signs, call your family physician. If you are experiencing what you think could be a heart attack, please do not hesitate because when it comes to a heart attack, every second counts. Go immediately to the Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Emergency Room for treatment.

For information during a non-emergency, please ask your physician or make an appointment with a member of the AMMC Cardiology Staff.

Dr. Ammar Hallak and Dr. Samuel Mortoti of Cardiology Associates, PA can be reached at (870) 239-0779.

Paragould Cardiology's Dr. Allen Duplantis can be reached at (870) 239-8450.