Complications related to the catheter include:
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness at the catheter
- Irritation of the vein by the catheter (superficial
thrombophlebitis). This can usually be treated with warm
- Bleeding at the catheter site.
- A bruise
where the catheter was inserted. This usually goes away in a few
- Trouble urinating after the procedure.
Serious complications are
rare, but they can be life-threatening. Serious complications are more likely
to occur in people who are critically ill or elderly. These complications may
- Sudden closure of the coronary artery.
tear in the inner lining of the artery.
- Allergic reaction to the contrast material, with hives
and itching and, in rare cases, shortness of breath, fever, and
shock. These allergic reactions can usually be
controlled with medicines.
- Kidney damage. In rare cases, the
contrast material can damage the kidneys, possibly causing kidney failure. People with diabetes and kidney
disease are at greatest risk for kidney damage.
- Heart attack or stroke.
- The need for more procedures or surgery to take care of complications.
Radiation risk. There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissues
from being exposed to any radiation, including the low levels of X-ray used for
this test. But the risk of damage from the X-rays is, in most cases, very low
compared with the potential benefits of the test.
Cardiac catheterization is a test to
check your heart and coronary arteries .
Test results will be
reviewed by a
cardiologist and will be available after the
procedure. Your doctor will be able to talk to you about some of the results
immediately after the test.
Results will include whether:
- Coronary arteries are normal or have narrowing or blockage.
- The heart's
pumping action (ejection fraction) and pressures inside the heart
chambers and blood vessels are normal.
- The heart valves
are working normally.
Many conditions can affect the results of a cardiac
catheterization. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with
you in relation to your symptoms and past health.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Extreme anxiety that causes high blood pressure and irregular
- Kidney or liver failure.
- Inability to
follow directions during the procedure.
What To Think About
- This test usually is not done on people who have had
allergic reactions to contrast material, poorly
heart failure, life-threatening heart rhythm problems,
- Cardiac catheterization
is not usually done during pregnancy because the radiation could damage the
fetus. But in a life-threatening emergency, this
procedure may be necessary to help save a pregnant woman's life. In such cases,
the fetus is protected as much as possible from radiation exposure with a lead