Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

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How is the procedure performed?

During the procedure, the pressure and blood flow in your heart can be measured. A contrast dye visible in X-rays is injected through the catheter. X-ray images show the dye as it flows through the heart arteries. This shows where arteries are blocked. The chances that problems will develop during cardiac cath are low. Why do people have cardiac catheterization? This is called coronary angiography or coronary arteriography.

Types of Cardiac Catheterization | Stanford Health Care

Check the pressure in the four chambers of your heart. Take samples of blood to measure the oxygen content in the four chambers of your heart. Evaluate the ability of the pumping chambers to contract. Look for defects in the valves or chambers of your heart. Remove a small piece of heart tissue to examine under a microscope biopsy. How do I prepare for cardiac catheterization? You will be given instructions about what to eat and drink during the 24 hours before the test. Usually, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for six to eight hours before the cath procedure.

Tell your doctor about any medicines including over-the-counter, herbs and vitamins you take. The doctor may ask you not to take them before your cath procedure.

Tell your doctor or nurse if you are allergic to anything, especially iodine, shellfish, latex or rubber products, medicines like penicillin, or X-ray dye. Arrange to have someone drive you home after your procedure. If you usually wear a hearing aid, wear it during your procedure. If you wear glasses, bring them to your appointment. What happens during cardiac catheterization? The nurse will clean and shave the area where the doctor will be working. This is usually in the groin area. A local anesthetic is usually given to numb the needle puncture site.

Cardiac Cath Lab

The doctor will make a needle puncture through your skin and into a large blood vessel. A small straw-sized tube called a sheath will be inserted into the vessel. The doctor will gently guide a catheter a long, thin tube into your vessel through the sheath. A video screen will show the position of the catheter as it is threaded through the major blood vessels and to the heart.

Various instruments may be placed at the tip of the catheter. They include instruments to measure the pressure of blood in each heart chamber and in blood vessels connected to the heart, view the interior of blood vessels, take blood samples from different parts of the heart, or remove a tissue sample biopsy from inside the heart.

When a catheter is used to inject a dye that can be seen on X-rays, the procedure is called angiography. When a catheter is used to clear a narrowed or blocked artery, the procedure is called angioplasty or a percutaneous coronary intervention PCI. When a catheter is used to widen a narrowed heart valve opening, the procedure is called valvuloplasty.

The doctor will remove the catheters and the sheath. Your nurse will put pressure on the site to prevent bleeding. Sometimes a special closure device is used. The procedure lasts about an hour. What happens after cardiac catheterization? You will go to a recovery room for a few hours. During this time, you have to lie flat. Pressure will be applied to the puncture site to stop the bleeding.

You will be asked to keep your leg straight and will not be able to get out of bed. Procedures may vary depending on patients' condition and their doctors' practices. To help patients remember to keep their leg straight, the knee of the affected leg may be covered with a sheet and the ends tucked under the mattress on both sides of the bed to form a type of loose restraint. If the insertion site was in the arm, it will be kept elevated on pillows and kept straight by placing the arm in an arm guard a plastic arm board designed to immobilize the elbow joint.

In addition, a plastic band works like a belt around the waist may be secured around the patient's arm near the insertion site. The band will be loosened at given intervals and removed at the appropriate time as determined by the doctor. After the procedure, patients may be taken to the recovery room for observation or returned to their hospital room. They will remain flat in bed for several hours after the procedure. Patients should immediately inform the nurse of any chest pain or tightness, or any other pain, as well as any feelings of warmth, bleeding, or pain at the insertion site.

Bedrest may vary from two to six hours depending on the patient's condition. If the doctor placed a closure device, bedrest may be of shorter duration.

Overview of Cardiac Catheterization

In some cases, the sheath or introducer may be left in the insertion site. If so, the period of bedrest will be prolonged until the sheath is removed. After the sheath is removed, patients may be given a light meal. Patients may feel the urge to urinate frequently because of the effects of the contrast dye and increased fluids.


Patients will need to use a bedpan or urinal while on bedrest so that the affected leg or arm will not be bent. After the specified period of bed rest has been completed, patients may get out of bed. The nurse will assist patients the first time they get up, and will check blood pressure while lying in bed, sitting, and standing. Patients should move slowly when getting up from the bed to avoid any dizziness from the long period of bedrest. Patients may be given pain medication for pain or discomfort related to the insertion site or having to lie flat and still for a prolonged period.

Patients will be encouraged to drink water and other fluids to help flush the contrast dye from the body. When patients have completed the recovery period, they may be discharged unless their doctor decides otherwise. If this procedure was performed on an outpatient basis, patients must have another person drive them home.

Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Once at home, patients should monitor the insertion site for bleeding, unusual pain, swelling, and abnormal discoloration or temperature change at or near the insertion site. A small bruise is normal. If patients notice a constant or large amount of blood at the site that cannot be contained with a small dressing, notify the doctor. If the doctor used a closure device at insertion site, patients will be given specific information regarding the type of closure device that was used and how to take care of the insertion site.

There will be a small knot, or lump, under the skin at the site. This is normal. The knot should gradually disappear over a few weeks. It will be important to keep the insertion site clean and dry. The doctor will give specific bathing instructions. Patients may be advised not to participate in any strenuous activities. The doctor will provide instructions about returning to work and resuming normal activities. The doctor may give additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on the patients' needs.

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Conditions Treated. Types of Cardiac Catheterization. These minimally invasive tests, some of which are not widely available, include: Coronary angiogram or angiography : The most common catheterization test looks for the blocked arteries typically associated with heart disease. A cardiologist injects a special contrast dye that shows up on low-dose X-rays and tracks the flow of blood. The cardiologist can pinpoint blocked or narrowed arteries, assess the severity of the condition, and determine what type of treatment, if any, is needed. Fractional flow reserve FFR : This test can help clarify the need for treatment, if a standard angiogram shows that an artery is only modestly narrowed.

We thread a wire with a pressure sensor past the spot in question, to compare blood flow and pressure on each side. We can determine when you need a stent and when medication alone is enough.

  1. PDF Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.
  2. History Without The Boring Bits.
  3. Bridging Between Cultural Heritage Institutions: 9th Italian Research Conference, IRCDL 2013, Rome, Italy, January 31–February 1, 2013, Revised Selected Papers.
  4. Interventional procedures.
  5. What Is Cardiac Catheterization?.

Our doctors continue to study this technique and participate in clinical trials, leading many of them. They have pioneered techniques to perform the tests, as well as the methods for interpreting and applying the results. Intravascular ultrasound IVUS : We attach an ultrasound probe to the end of a catheter to see inside arteries and make measurements if the vessels are narrowed or blocked. This technique often provides more information than a standard angiogram and can help plan the most appropriate treatment.

Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Diagnostic Methods in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

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