Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois
Cardiac catheterization (commonly referred to as a cardiac cath) is a procedure during which x-ray motion picture films are taken of your heart and the arteries that supply it with much needed oxygen-rich blood. A thin, flexible tube known as a catheter is placed into the leg or arm artery. A cardiologist threads the catheter through the artery to your heart. A special dye is then injected through the catheter, allowing the cardiologist to see heart valves and arteries on the x-ray screen. This helps the cardiologist determine the presence and extent of vessel damage in those who have symptoms of cardiac disease.