North Coast Cardiology, Inc. Katherine Ludington, MD, FACC
   4401 Manchester Avenue, Suite 106, Encinitas, CA 92024. Telephone (760) 753-0220. Fax (760) 753-2639.
line decor
For new patients  |  For Returning patients  |  About your procedure   |  Refills  |  After hours help |
line decor

FOR PHYSICIANS - about cardiac imaging

To refer a patient, click here. For available services in our clinic, please click here.

Heart Disease is the leading cause of mortality in both men and women. Unfortunately, many patients go undiagnosed for years due to atypical symptoms or failure to present to their physicians, even when experiencing classic symptoms of CAD or PVD. Women in particular have quite atypical symptoms of coronary disease including syncope, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, jaw or tooth pain, etc.

Peripheral arterial disease is even more difficult to identify, as most patients don't have classic claudication. Moreover, patients don't often have TIA's as a warning sign of carotid disease. Typically, a stroke or MI is the presenting sign of significant vascular disease. These diseases carry substantial morbidity (and mortality) and can alter a patient's quality of life within seconds.

Newer diagnostic modalities allow for earlier detection of vascular disease. New cholesterol panels (VAP test, hsCRP, Lp(a), for example) provide a much more detailed assessment of coronary risk. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a novel way of detecting early cholesterol plaque in the carotid arterial wall. Coronary calcium scoring with CT has been popular of late in detecting plaque burden in the coronary arteries, although one must recognize that typically soft, uncalcified plaque leads to acute MIs and sudden death more so than hard, calcified plaque.

The newest diagnostic tool of non-invasive coronary artery CT angiography allows for accurate assessment of actual coronary anatomy. A normal coronary CT angiogram has the highest negative predictive value of ANY cardiac diagnostic test (higher than PET), is noninvasive, and can be performed within 6-8 seconds.

There are many complex factors at play when evaluating a patient with potential or known CAD. There are more and more (expensive) tests available for screening and diagnosis every year. A cardiologist with expertise in cardiac imaging can easily help determine which is the most appropriate test for a given situation or constellation of symptoms.

Dr. Ludington is board certified in nuclear cardiology and has Level III (highest) training in cardiac MRI as well as Level II training in cardiac CT angiography. She has directed the advanced imaging program at the prestigious Scripps Clinic for 5 years and can help determine which test is most appropriate for your patient.

Dr. Ludington was featured on the front page of the Union Tribune Sunday Edition on October 1st, 2006. Click here to see the article.

Click here to see available services at North Coast Cardiology.

Click here to refer a patient for evaluation or treatment.






Our office is proud to offer a brand new program, called "PLAQUE DETECT." This painless, noninvasive 30 minute test uses state of the art ultrasound to diagnose blockages in the carotid arteries, which can lead to stroke. The abdominal aorta and the circulation to the legs is also thoroughly evaluated. Finally, the function of the heart is analyzed, something that no other screening program offers.

OUR OFFICE WINS 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, AND 2017 BEST OF ENCINITAS AWARD

The US Local Business Association awarded North Coast Cardiology the Best of Encinitas award again this year. This is our fourt year in a row! Congratulations to our team for earning this honor.

Dr. Ludington's expertise in hypertension and hypercholesterolemia treatment combines a thorough risk assessment with lifestyle changes and modern drug therapy, as needed.