Cardiac catheterization is a method of diagnosing and treating some heart conditions. The procedure involves the insertion of a long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in the upper thigh, arm, or neck and threaded to the heart using live x-rays (fluoroscopy) as a guide. Physicians can perform diagnostic tests and provide treatments on the heart through the catheter. For example, in a test called coronary angiography, the doctor may inject a special type of dye through the catheter that will flow to the heart and make the heart arteries visible on x-ray pictures. The dye can show whether waxy plaque has built up and restricted blood flow to the heart, diagnostic of coronary artery disease. Doctors also can collect blood samples from the heart, measure blood pressure and flow in the heart’s chambers and large arteries, measure oxygen in various parts of the heart, and perform a biopsy of the heart muscle for laboratory examination. Cardiologists, specialized heart doctors, usually perform these and other catheterization procedures in a sophisticated hospital laboratory. Patients are given medication to relax them, but they are awake during the procedure, and there is little or no pain involved. Soreness at the catheter’s insertion site usually is the only complication.
At UAB, you will receive expert, personalized care from our cardiology clinics both on campus and at our suburban center at Acton Road just off I-459. Specialists from UAB’s world-renowned team of cardiologists offer you the best evidence-based care for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, rhythm disturbances, diseased valves, and other heart and vessel conditions. And when you visit our clinics, you can expect friendly, personalized care backed by UAB’s sophisticated facilities and equipment.
Find a Provider to Schedule an Appointment
Are you a Physician or Provider?
24-Hour Consultation Referral Services
Speak to your physician about your options and browse the link below for more information
Featured HighlightsView All News
February 28, 2024
February 22, 2024
Latest NewsView All News
UAB patient with congenital heart disease shares story to give others hope
February 23, 2024
Heart Health 101: UAB expert offers top tips for heart-healthy diet
February 15, 2024
New study finds high-dose inhaled nitric oxide decreases the risk of death among critically ill Black patients with COVID-19
February 9, 2024
Heart and kidney transplant patient defies odds and delivers baby at UAB Hospital
February 6, 2024
Nationwide study shows that only 1 in 3 individuals with severe dyslipidemia receive lipid-lowering medications
January 23, 2024