Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac Catheterization Who Needs It

Your healthcare provider may recommend cardiac catheterization to find out what is causing symptoms of a heart problem or to treat or repair a heart problem.

Cardiac catheterization can be used for different purposes.

Your doctor may do other procedures to diagnose or treat your condition during cardiac catheterization.

  • Collect biopsies of small samples of heart tissue for more laboratory testing. Biopsies can be used for genetic testing, to check for myocarditis (a type of heart inflammation), or to look for transplant rejection.
  • Use coronary angiography to look at the heart or blood vessels by injecting dye through the catheter.
  • Perform minor heart surgery to treat congenital heart defects and replace or widen narrowed heart valves.
  • Use percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to open narrowed or blocked areas of the coronary arteries. PCI may include balloon dilation, also known as angioplasty , or stent placement. Most people who have heart attacks or underlying heart disease have narrowed or blocked coronary arteries.
  • Apply catheter ablation to treat arrythmias.

Who should not have cardiac catheterization?

Your doctor may wait to do the procedure or recommend that you do not have cardiac catheterization if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Abnormal electrolyte levels in your blood
  • acute  gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Acute kidney failure, or serious kidney disease that is not being treated with dialysis
  • Acute stroke
  • Blood that is too thin from blood-thinning medicines or other causes
  • High levels of digoxin, a heart medicine used to treat heart failure or arrhythmia, in your blood
  • Previous serious allergic reaction to the dye that is used during cardiac catheterization
  • Severe anemia, which is a lower-than-normal amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin
  • Unexplained fever
  • Untreated infection

Join a Clinical Trial

We lead or sponsor studies relevant to cardiac catheterization. See whether you or someone you know is eligible to participate in our clinical trials. 

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