What is Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a medical test conducted to diagnose certain heart conditions. Heart specialists use a cardiac catheterization procedure to diagnose blockages in arteries. A cardiac catheterization is done in a hospital by inserting a thin tube into the heart and a dye is passed through the blood. Learn what is heart catheterization or cardiac catheterization here.

What is cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a test carried out to detect certain heart conditions like blockages in the heart and arteries. A patient is awake during this procedure and a cardiac catheterization causes no pain while being conducted.

How is a Cardiac Catheterization done

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure where a thin flexible tube or catheter is passed into the right or left side of the heart either from the groin or the arm.

The patient is mildly sedated before a catheter is passed into the heart through a iv line. Once the catheter is passed through the IV line it is carefully guided into the heart with the help of x-ray imaging using a technique called fluoroscopy Once the catheter is inserted into the heart the doctors can start carrying out the recommended tests.

Why is a cardiac catheterization performed

A cardiac catheterization is performed to diagnose problems in the heart. This includes diagnosing the following problems:

• Coronary artery disease

• Congenital heart defects

• Heart valve problems

• Heart failure causes

• Coronary artery disease

• Valve problems

• Ventricular aneurysms

• Heart enlargement

A cardiac catheterization can also be carried out to cure certain heart problems like:

• Heart defects

• stuck heart valve

•Opening of blocked arteries

•Primary pulmonary hypertension

•Heart valve defects

•Pulmonary embolism

•Birth defects

•Cardiac amyloidosis

Some of the tests that a doctor may perform while carrying out a cardiac catheterization are:

• Collecting blood samples from the heart.

• Measurement of blood flow in the heart chambers and arteries around the heart.

• Measuring oxygen levels in the hearts.

• Examining the arteries

• Biopsy of the heart muscles

Preparation for Cardiac catheterization

If you are going to undergo a cardiac catheterization procedure there are certain steps that you need to follow to prepare for this test. These steps include:

• Do not eat or drink anything for 6-8 hours before the test.

• You may be hospitalized for the night.

• You would be required to sign a consent form for the test.

• Inform the doctor if your are allergic to any medication

• Inform the doctor if you are allergic to any food.

• Inform the doctor if your are pregnant(women)

• Inform the doctor if you are on any medication.

Complications of cardiac catheterization

Patients who undergo cardiac catheterization are at a risk of developing complications post the test. The complications from cardiac catheterization include bleeding, infection, and pain at the IV site, damage to the blood vessels, Blood clots, The contrast material could damage the kidneys, this is especially true for diabetics.

Risks from cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization does have some risks in comparison to other cardiac tests. The risks from cardiac catheterization Cardiac arrhythmias, Cardiac tamponade, Heart attack, Bleeding, Low blood pressure, Reaction to the contrast medium, Stroke, and trauma to the artery caused by hematoma.

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