Cardiac catheterization laboratory

Person lying under X-ray machine in cath lab

Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho. All rights reserved.

Cardiac catheterization is done in the cardiac catheterization laboratory ("cath lab") by a cardiologist.

Some of the tests and procedures that are done in a cath lab include:

  • Testing for heart disease with an angiogram.
  • Treating heart disease with angioplasty and stenting.
  • Testing for and treating heart rhythm problems.

You will lie on a flat table under a large X-ray machine. Several small pads or patches (electrodes) will be attached to your legs and arms with a special paste or gel. These electrodes are connected to an electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) machine that continuously records the electrical activity of your heart during the test or procedure.

Current as ofJuly 22, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
George J. Philippides, MD, FACC - Cardiology
John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Interventional Cardiology
Michael P. Pignone, MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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