Cardiac Catheterization

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A cardiac catheterization is most often performed at a hospital. Do not eat or drink for six to eight hours prior to your procedure. After receiving a mild sedative, you will remain awake during the procedure. The area of catheter insertion will be numbed with a local anesthetic
Introduction and Uses
 
 
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used in diagnoses or treatment in which a thin, flexible tube is advanced into the heart. Cardiac catheterization provides useful information about the heart’s functioning. Performed with an imaging technique called fluoroscopy, cardiac catheterization records pictures of the heart while the heart beats. The resulting pictures can help identify heart disease, blood clots, heart enlargement, heart defects, aneurysm, valve problems, or coronary artery blockage. Cardiac catheterization can be used as a treatment procedure to repair open arteries, open valves, and heart defects.
 
Test Procedure
 
A cardiac catheterization is most often performed at a hospital. Do not eat or drink for six to eight hours prior to your procedure. After receiving a mild sedative, you will remain awake during the procedure. The area of catheter insertion will be numbed with a local anesthetic. The catheter, a long, flexible tube, may be inserted into an artery in the groin or arm area. Remain still during the procedure. A dye inserted by your doctor will allow your heart and blood vessels to be seen on an X-ray video. After removing the catheter and completing the procedure, your doctor will go over your results with you.
 
Cardiac Imaging
 
Cardiac imaging is a branch of radiology that specializes in using technology to allow detailed observation of the heart and blood vessels without open surgery. There are various types of cardiac imaging that allow doctors to check for heart problems, monitor heart functioning, and diagnose heart disorders. Stroke and other conditions can be evaluated by imaging blood vessels in the brain.
 
Common methods of cardiac imaging include:
 
Computerized Axial Scanning, which helps determine the impact of a stroke by imaging the brain’s blood vessels.
 
Coronary Artery Scan or Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT), which helps doctors check for disease or blockages by producing cross-sectional pictures of the heart and its blood vessels.
 
Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which evaluates heart tissue function using radionuclide tracers with enough detail to identify injured but living heart muscle.
 
Digital Cardiac Angiography (DCA), which detects blockages by using a contrast dye to emphasize the major blood vessels in images of the heart and brain.
 
Electron-Beam Computed Tomography (EBCT), which is used to detect calcification by taking very fast images that help assess muscle mass, heart chamber volume, bypass grafts, heart lesions, and pressure. EBCT results can gauge the need for coronary bypass surgery or risk of heart attack.
 
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which produces very detailed images of the heart that help assess disorders, defects, and damage from a heart attack. Doctors can evaluate damage caused by a stroke through an MRI of the brain.
 
Radionuclide Imaging, which indicates areas of brain damage and shows brain functioning through injected radioactive substance imaging. Radionuclide imaging can locate the damaged areas caused by a heart attack.
 
Single Photon Emission Controlled Tomography (SPECT), which produces cross-sectional images of the heart through use of injected radioactive tracers and imaging. SPECT can locate heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart muscle blood flow issues, and determine the severity of heart abnormalities.