A cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat several heart conditions. During this procedure, a flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel that leads to the heart. The catheter is usually inserted through the groin or the arm. The doctor then can use the catheter to collect blood samples from the heart, examine arteries in the heart, measure the oxygen in the heart and more. The test can usually last 30 – 60 minutes but may take longer in some cases.
This procedure can detect diseases of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries including coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, pulmonary hypertension and many other conditions.