Cardiac catheterization is an essential procedure necessary to diagnose and treat heart disease.
Cardiac catheterization is a surgical procedure for inserting and passing catheters that are small plastic tubes into arteries and veins that lead to the heart to capture radiographic images of coronary arteries and cardiac ventricles (angiography and ventriculography) and to measure pressures in the heart (hemodynamics).
credit: PTCA catheter, TERUMO CORP.
Coronary angiography is an examination that shows the site, severity, and morphology of atherosclerotic lesions, and that identifies collateral blood supply beyond obstructed vessel portions. Cardiac catheterization serves to diagnose coronary artery, valvular heart disease, and myocardial diseases. It also serves to perform therapeutic (interventional) procedures to relieve obstructing arterial stenoses, open narrowed valves, or close intracardiac defects through less invasive percutaneous procedures. These diagnostic and therapeutic procedures can be are also applied for peripheral arterial circulation to examine carotid, renal, and peripheral vascular disease, aortic aneurysms, and vascular shunts.
Indications and Contraindications for Cardiac Catheterization
Examples of Indications
Indications for cardiac catheterization include identification of coronary artery disease and evaluation of left ventricular function; assessment of valvular and myocardial disorders such as aortic stenosis, mitral stenosis, their insufficiency, and various cardiomyopathies; and confirmation and complement of noninvasive studies.
Examples of Contraindications
Contraindications for cardiac catheterization include severe uncontrolled hypertension, ventricular arrhythmias, uncontrolled arrhythmias, recent acute stroke, severe anemia, active gastrointestinal bleeding, allergy to radiographic contrast agent, acute renal failure, uncompensated congestive failure, unexplained febrile illness and/or untreated active infection, electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., hypokalemia), severe coagulopathy, and pregnancy.