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Cardiac catheterization and angiography 

Cardiac catheterization and angiography
Cardiac catheterization and angiography

Edward D. Folland

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A more recent version of this content exists; this version was replaced on 27 November 2014. The version that replaced it can be found here.


Corrected formatting of Gorlin formula.

Updated on 25 May 2011. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 28 January 2020

Cardiac catheterization/angiography is indicated for evaluation of patients with coronary, valvular, and congenital heart disease in whom diagnostic or therapeutic decisions cannot be made on the basis of noninvasive tests. Most patients presenting for cardiac catheterization have coronary artery disease: no other imaging modality can, as yet, provide the detailed anatomy of the entire coronary circulation that is needed for planning revascularization procedures.

Technique and diagnostic utility—vascular access is usually obtained percutaneously from the femoral or radial artery (for the left heart), or the femoral or brachial/antecubital vein (for the right heart). Key information that can be obtained by cardiac catheterization/angiography include (1) pressures within cardiac chambers; (2) cardiac output; (3) quantitative estimation of left ventricular function; (4) diagnosis and quantitation of intracardiac shunts; (5) calculation of systemic and pulmonary vascular resistances; (6) assessment of cardiac valves; and (7) details of coronary arterial anatomy and function.

Therapeutic utility—cardiac catheterization/angiography permits interventions, particularly coronary angioplasty/stenting (see Chapters 16.13.5 and 16.13.6), that are of great and increasing therapeutic importance.

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