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.
Review Date: 1/25/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.