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What is Cardiac Catheterization?

Cardiac catheterization, also known as a coronary angiogram, allows cardiologists to see how well the heart is functioning. The insertion of a catheter into the chamber or vessel of the heart can be done for both investigational and interventional purposes. The clinical application of this procedure dates back to the early 1930’s and, to this day, has continued to provide doctors the insight needed to save or improve the lives of their patients.


This invasive imaging procedure tests for heart disease and other related complications that otherwise could not have been examined in such detail. A long, thin, flexible tube is inserted into a blood vessel in your groin, arm, or neck. For a more detailed diagnosis, the doctor will then put a special dye into the catheter which will travel through the bloodstream, into your heart and allow for a clear, detailed x-ray to be taken of the arteries. Cardiac catheterization can be used to:


  1. Take a closer look to determine risk factors and/or severity of coronary artery disease.
  2. Study the functionality of the heart and heart valves.
  3. Echocardiography to assess the pumping function of the heart.
  4. Measure the pressure and oxygen content within the four chambers of the heart.


Advancements in technology have allowed for heart doctors to use this procedure to the best of their ability to test for much more than a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. During the cardiac catheterization, a doctor can use an ultrasound to detect blockages in the artery to further protect a patient’s health before it is too late.  The procedure will not only gage the functionality of a patient’s heart muscle, it can evaluate the severity of the risk for heart disease and determine the most appropriate steps for further treatment.

If you would like to speak to a heart doctor about your heart health, contact the Long Island Heart Associates today or request a consultation.

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