Catheter-based procedures

Catheter-based investigations such as angiography have a uniquely important role in cardiac medicine due to the fact that, in many patients with heart disease, they offer diagnostic as well as therapeutic applications. The visualization of blood vessels using contrast agents (angiography) is just one example of such the procedures that are performed in a catheterization laboratory.

What types of procedures are performed in a catheterization laboratory?

The visualization of blood vessels using contrast agents (angiography) is just one example of such the procedures that are performed in a catheterization laboratory. In this procedure, a catheter introduced through a blood vessel (usually a blood vessel in the groin) is used to inject x-ray contrast agents into a whole range of different arteries - e.g. the coronary arteries, or arteries in the neck, pelvis or legs. If areas of arterial stenosis are found that are severe enough to jeopardize tissue perfusion - e.g. in patients with heart attack, carotid artery stenosis or peripheral arterial disease - the affected sites can usually be treated as part of the same procedure, with treatment involving balloon angioplasty to widen the artery, followed by the implantation of a stent in order to support the artery from the inside.



Cardiac catheterization can also be used for a procedure that involves the use of contrast agents to visualize the ventricles (ventriculography), a procedure that measures the pressure inside the different chambers of the heart, or a procedure that involves the removal of small samples of heart muscle tissue (myocardial biopsy). Additionally, cardiac catheterization can be used in the assessment of complex cardiac arrhythmias. This type of investigation involves obtaining direct measurements of the heart's electrical activity from inside the heart muscle, and is far more informative than a normal ECG. Many patients with cardiac arrhythmia, who have to undergo cardiac catheterization as part of diagnostic procedures, can also go on to receive treatment to destroy the diseased cardiac tissue responsible for triggering the arrhythmia (catheter ablation) as part of the same procedure.

 
 
 
Relevant information

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  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. med.
    Christian Butter
    Head of the Department of Cardiology, Immanuel Hospital Bernau Brandenburg Heart Center

    PA to Head of Department Christine Meinecke
    Immanuel Hospital Bernau Brandenburg Heart Center
    Ladeburger Str. 17
    16321 Bernau bei Berlin
    T +49 3338 694-610
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