Cardiac catheterization is a test to check your heart. This test can include a coronary angiogram, which checks the Reference coronary arteries Opens New Window.
A cardiac catheterization can check blood flow in the Reference coronary arteries Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, blood flow and blood pressure in the Reference chambers of the heart Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, find out how well the heart valves work, and check for defects in the way the wall of the heart moves. In children, this test is used to check for heart problems that have been present since birth (Reference congenital heart defect Opens New Window).
A coronary angiogram is used to find out if you have disease in your coronary arteries (Reference atherosclerosis Opens New Window). If you have atherosclerosis, this test can pinpoint the size and location of fat and calcium deposits (Reference plaque Opens New Window) that are narrowing your coronary arteries.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is similar to coronary angiogram, but it is used to open up a narrowed coronary artery with special tools. The two common types of PCI are:
Results from a coronary angiogram help determine whether treatment with medicines, Reference bypass surgery Opens New Window, or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as Reference angioplasty Opens New Window, may be effective.
For help deciding about having this test for coronary artery disease, see Opens New Window Heart Disease: Should I Have an Angiogram? Opens New Window
Other tests can be done during cardiac catheterization to find heart problems. An X-ray test called a Reference ventriculogram measures how well blood flows through the left side of your heart. The test looks at the movements of the wall of the left ventricle and the heart valves.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 20, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference George Philippides, MD - Cardiology