catheterization is a test
to check your heart. This test can include a coronary angiogram, which checks the coronary arteries .
A cardiac catheterization can check blood flow in
the coronary arteries, check blood flow and blood pressure in
the chambers of the heart , find out how well the heart
valves work, and check for defects in the way the wall of the heart moves. In
children, this test is used to check for heart problems that have been present
since birth (congenital heart defect).
A coronary angiogram is used to find out if you have disease in your coronary
arteries (atherosclerosis ). If you have atherosclerosis, this
test can pinpoint the size and location of fat and calcium deposits (plaque) that are narrowing your coronary arteries.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is similar to coronary angiogram, but it is used to open up a narrowed coronary artery with special tools. The two common types of PCI are:
Results from a coronary angiogram help determine whether treatment with
medicines, bypass surgery, or percutaneous coronary intervention
(PCI), such as
angioplasty, may be effective.
For help deciding about having this test for coronary artery disease, see Heart Disease: Should I Have an Angiogram?
Other tests can be done during cardiac catheterization to
find heart problems. An X-ray test called a
ventriculogram measures how well blood flows through
the left side of your heart. The test looks at the movements of the wall of the
left ventricle and the heart valves.