A cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic test that is used to diagnose heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, defective heart valves or congenital heart defects.
If medical professionals suspect you are experiencing a heart attack, you may be sent immediately for catheterization. Cardiac catheterization can help locate a blood clot that may be causing a heart attack.
A long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery in your groin or arm. A thinner tube, called a guidewire, is used to guide the catheter into the various arteries of the heart. Your physician observes the catheter through the blood vessels by viewing moving X-ray pictures displayed on a screen.
The cardiac catheterization has been described as the most important diagnostic test developed in recent years. The latest technology produces outstanding images, giving physicians’ unprecedented views of vessels, heart chambers and valves. Additionally, it reduces the amount of radiation exposure to patients and staff.