This is a procedure that is used to assess pressure and oxygen levels in the heart. A very small flexible catheter with a balloon tipped flotation catheter is introduced via the vein the right thigh. This balloon floats and travels with blood flow and together with some control externally would arrive at the various chambers on the heart. This is monitored using X -ray (fluoroscopy). This procedure is indicated for a variety of situations:

  1. Studying the function of the heart (for very ill patients in the ICU)
  2. Studying the function and pressures within the heart before undertaking cardiac surgery
  3. Optimization of heart failure medications
  4. Assessing heart function is those with congenital heart disease (hole in the heart/valve disease)
  5. For patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension

X -ray (fluoroscopy)