What is cardiac catheterization?

This procedure allows cardiac specialists to investigate how well your heart is working and to detect heart disease. Miniature medical devices are attached to the end of a long, thin tube (catheter). The devices capture images or take measurements or samples in the heart.


When is catheterization recommended?

Cardiologists use cardiac catheterization to help diagnose heart disease and other heart conditions. They may also perform other procedures, such as angioplasty and stent implantation or radial angiography.


What is the procedure for catheterization?

A cardiac specialist inserts the catheter into an artery (usually a “femoral artery” in the groin area) and threads it up to the heart. Depending on the device attached to the end of the catheter, the procedure may be used to capture images inside the arteries or heart chambers. It may also measure blood flow or blood pressure in individual chambers. Sometimes a blood or tissue sample is taken from a particular location within the heart.


What are the results of catheterization?

Heart catheterization allows the cardiologist to make a more definite diagnosis and determine the best way to treat each patient. Treatments may include those that use the catheter, such as angioplasty and stent implantation or radial angiography.