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Cardiology is the medical specialty that studies and treats diseases and disorders of the heart, particularly congenital defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, diseases of the heart valves and electrical properties of the heart. A specialist in internal medicine in the field is referred to as a cardiologist. A surgeon in the field is called a cardiac surgeon.
In the United States, there are four recognized sub-specialities of cardiology:
- Cardiac electrophysiology - the study of the electrical properties of the heart and diseases that affect the conduction of electrical impulses
- Echocardiography - the use of ultrasound to study the mechanical function of the heart.
- Interventional cardiography - the use of catheters to treat structural disorders
- Nuclear cardiology - the use of nuclear medicine to visualize how the heart uptakes radioactive isotopes