What is Cardiac Catheterization?
Cardiac catheterization (cath) is a minimally-invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat some cardiovascular conditions. During the cath, the physician inserts a thin hollow tube, called a catheter, into an artery or vein in the patient’s groin, neck or arm. The catheter is then threaded through the blood vessels to the patient’s heart.
How is Cardiac Catheterization used?
In the Children’s Heart Center cath labs, the cath team performs a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including:
- Diagnostic procedures: measuring pressure and oxygen levels in the heart, obtaining biopsies and evaluating the structures of the heart.
- Interventional procedures: examples include implanting valves in the heart, placing stents to open narrowed vessels, placing occlusive devices (to treat conditions such as atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects and patent ductus arteriosus) and opening valves (balloon valvuloplasty) and vessels with angioplasty balloons.
- Electrophysiology procedures, including testing for and treating irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and placing implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers.
About Cardiac Catheterization at the Children's Heart Center
The Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital offers innovative solutions for patients with congenital or acquired heart disease. In collaboration with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, the affiliated cath team performs a wide variety routine and complex cath procedures.
The cath team routinely closes the patent ductus arteriosus in premature neonates and has performed catheterizations on babies under 800 grams. They collaborate with the cardiac surgeons to perform hybrid procedures that use tools from both catheterization and surgery to help the child in the least invasive way possible.
In addition, the cath team works in collaboration with other departments within Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital to provide our pediatric patients with seamless, comprehensive care.
Our Cath Lab
Specially-trained affiliated pediatric cardiologists and pediatric anesthesiologists, supported by a team of nurses and technologists, perform cardiac cath procedures in our state-of-the-art, child-friendly cath lab. The lab is situated within Children’s Memorial Herman Hospital, in close proximity to related departments and services offered on campus. This provides patients with direct access to multispecialty care from affiliated physicians, should additional needs arise.
Cath Lab Procedures
PDA & ASD Device Closures
Meet the Affiliated Team
Remmy's Story: Repairing Patent Ductus Arteriosus
When seven-year-old Remmy had occasional shortness of breath and seemed more tired than usual, it never occurred to his parents that he might have a problem with his heart.
Read the full story »
Refer a Patient