Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is also known as cardiac angiogram or left heart catheterization. This procedure is commonly performed in the hospital to assess for blockage in heart artery (CAD). It is also used to study the function of heart and valves.

A catheter is very small tube and inserted through the vein in groin or wrist with local anesthesia, using a narrow fiber passed upwards inside the artery in the heart.

Blockages can be seen by injecting dye into the heart arteries. If there is narrowing, the narrowing can be widened and a stent will be placed.

Common indications for stress test:

  • Heart Attack
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Chest Pain (Angina) inappropriately controlled with medication
  • Positive Stress Test
  • Severe Aortic Stenosis
  • Chest pain, difficulty exercising or shortness of breath
  • Significant cardiovascular risks such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and peripheral vascular disease
  • Abnormal EKG (electrocardiogram) or Echo (echocardiogram) findings
  • Weak Heart (Heart Failure)
  • Coronary Artery disease or heart attack
  • After heart procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty
  • To assess certain arrhythmias such as chronotropic incompetence or supraventricular tachycardia
  • Clearance for certain procedures and surgeries

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