Cardiac catheter labs at Royal Brompton Hospital

Cardiac catheter lab manager: 

Karen Shevlin


The cardiac catheter labs provide adult and paediatric diagnostic and intervention services as well as treatment for arrhythmias using electrophysiological studies and devices.

The department is composed of four cardiac catheter labs. Two of these labs are single-plane facilities while the remaining two are biplane facilities. One of the biplane labs is used for paediatrics and adult congenital heart patients. Two of the catheter labs are dedicated especially to electrophysiology studies.


Each case in the cardiac catheter lab is supported by a team that includes an operator, nurse, radiographer and cardiac physiologist. In some cases, an anaesthetic nurse and operating department assistant/practitioner from the theatre's department will also be included. 

The operator, either a cardiology consultant or specialist registrar (SpR), is responsible for placing the catheters, putting in stents and carrying out the study itself. The nurse sets up the trolleys, administers drugs and looks after the patient before and after the procedure. A scrub nurse ensures cleanliness and delivery of appropriate equipment throughout the procedure. The radiographer is trained in the use of ionized radiation. He or she is responsible for moving equipment, setting doses to keep radiation low, and ensuring radiation safety in the labs. The cardiac physiologist measures and records electrocardiograms (ECGs) and blood pressure during procedures, as well as building a report based on what catheters are used and when they are placed. 


Cases diagnosed and treated in the catheter labs include:

  • Diagnostic angiogram
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Pacemaker (PPM)
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Cardiac resynchronisation therapy pacemaker (CRT-P)
  • Cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillator (CRT-D)
  • Electrophysiology
  • Paediatrics diagnostics and intervention
  • Adult congenital heart patients
  • Transfemoral aortic valves implantations
  • Mitraclip program for repairs