Cardiac Catheterization, also called cardiac cath and cardiac angiogram, is an invasive imaging procedure that allows your cardiologist to evaluate your heart's function and ability to pump blood. The cardiac cath enables your doctor to determine if you have coronary artery disease, aortic or valve disease, as well as to help determine if you need further tests or treatments.
During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter (long, thin tube) is inserted into a transducer (a short, hollow tube), which sits in an arm or leg vessel. With the assistance of fluoroscopy (moving x-ray images), the catheter is carefully guided to the coronary arteries of the heart. The cardiologist uses a contrast agent (non-ionic dye) to visualize the heart and coronary arteries.
Electrophysiology Studies (EPS) use cardiac catheterization techniques to study patients who have irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias.
An electrophysiology study uses electrical stimulation to show how the heart reacts to controlled electrical stimulus. The signals help the physician identify where an arrhythmia starts and what medicines or other procedures, such as a catheter ablation, would work best to stop the irregular impulses. Electrophysiology studies are conducted in the cardiac catheterization lab.
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For additional information, please contact the Cardiac Catheterization Scheduling Office at 973.754.2330.