Cardiac catheterization involves the insertion of a catheter into an artery or vein located in either the arm or leg. From there, the catheter can advance into the chambers of the heart or coronary arteries.
This test can measure blood pressure within the heart and the amount of oxygen that is in the blood. It is also used to measure the pumping ability of the heart muscle. Catheters can be used to inject dye into the coronary arteries (sometimes called coronary angiography or coronary arteriography). Catheters with a balloon on the tip are used in the procedure called percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.
The cardiovascular lab staff can also implant permanent pacemakers and implantable cardiovascular defibrillators (ICDs); emergency or elective coronary angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction (MI) is available for patients who meet selected clinical criteria.