Cardiac catheterization (cardiac cath or heart cath) is a procedure to examine how well your heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel either in the groin or wrist that leads to your heart.
A contrast dye visible in X-rays is injected through the catheter. X-ray images show the dye as it flows through the heart arteries. This shows where arteries are blocked. The cath will provide information on how well your heart works, identify the problems and allow for procedures to open blocked arteries.
Cardiac catheterization procedures are performed at Shadyside Hosptial, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, and West Penn Hospital.