Cardiac Catheterization
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Cardiac Catheterization?

Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.

It is used to find the cause of symptoms, like chest pain, that could mean heart problems.

Cardiac catheterization helps doctors to:

  • Identify narrowed or clogged arteries of the heart
  • Measure blood pressure within the heart
  • Evaluate how well the heart valves and chambers function
  • Check heart defects
  • Evaluate an enlarged heart
  • Decide on an appropriate treatment

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a cardiac catheterization, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding at the point of the catheter insertion
  • Damage to arteries
  • Heart attack or arrhythmia (abnormal heart beats)
  • Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
  • Blood clot formation
  • Infection

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Allergies to medicines or x-ray dye
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Age: 60 or older
  • Recent pneumonia
  • Recent heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Extreme sweating, nausea, or...
 
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