Cardiac catheterization is used to study the various functions of the heart. Using different techniques, the coronary arteries can be viewed by injecting dye or opened using balloon angioplasty. The oxygen concentration can be measured across the valves and walls (septa) of the heart and pressures within each chamber of the heart and across the valves can be measured. The technique can even be performed in small, newborn infants.
Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.