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Cardiac Catheterization in the Diagnosis of Heart Ailments


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There may be an internal suture and a plug. The patient may be asked to lie flat for several hours to prevent bleeding. A stent could also be inserted during cardiac catheterization which may prolong the procedures.

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Cardiac Catheterization in the Diagnosis of Heart Ailments

  1. 1. BY: Lisa BrunHeart ailments are very common now a days. Chest pain is a common indication thatsomething may be wrong. After that you will have to consult a cardiologist to get yourheart examined. He may refer you to a cardiac unit where a whole lot of necessary testsare done. This may take even a couple of days. If there is a chance that the doctorsuspects heart ailments( In French insuffisance cardiaque) he may refer you for acardiac catheterization which is a procedure done to confirm whether you have a heartcondition or not. Heart murmurs are a common ailment among children and adults. Thismay occur due to a variety of reasons. In adults, it may be caused due to age. In childrenit may be a birth deficiency. Heart murmur is characterised by a peculiar sound made bythe heart when blood flows through it or in the surrounding tissue. It may be so mild thatit can barely be heard by your doctor with his stethoscope but it can also be so severethat the murmur can be heard with the stethoscope off the chest.Heart Disease and Cardiac CatheterizationCardiac catheterization (In French maladie cardio) is the insertion of a catheter into achamber of the heart. This is done either for investigating or intervening. Localanaesthetic is injected either in the arm or groin to make the area numb. Usually, thegroin is preferred. A puncture is made with a needle in the femur artery of the groin. Aguide wire is then inserted into the arterial puncture. A plastic sheath is covered over thewire which is then guided into the artery. The wire is removed and the plastic sheath ispunctured so that the arterial blood flows back. It is then flushed with saline. Thisarterial sheath acts as a conduit as long as the procedure is being done. Catheters aremoved towards the heart. When it is in position over the aortic valve, the guide wire isremoved. X ray opaque iodine based contrast is injected. This helps the vessels to showup on the x ray image. When the procedure is complete, the catheter is removed. Thenpressure is applied either manually or with a machine to prevent further bleeding. Theremay be an internal suture and a plug. The patient may be asked to lie flat for severalhours to prevent bleeding. A stent could also be inserted during cardiac catheterizationwhich may prolong the procedures.
  2. 2. Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease which actually refers to the malfunctioning ofthe myocardium. It happens when the heart cannot pump blood the way it should due tosome kind of heart dysfunctions(In French attaque cardiaque). The heart musclebecomes enlarged, thick or rigid. In some rare cases the muscle in the heart is replacedwith scar tissue. It is not easy to detect this disease. Actually, this term ‘cardiomyopathy’refers to a disease of the myocardium but actually it means having a severe myocardialdisease leading to heart failure resulting in death.Signs and symptomsThe signs and symptoms of the disease are quite common. There may be chest pain. Ifthe disease is mild there may be no symptoms but if the disease is severe, there will bechest pain. This disease may cause fluid to build up in the lungs, or in the legs. It maycause abnormal heart rhythms or inflammation of the lining of the heart.TreatmentTreatment depends on the type of cardiomyopathy(In French cardiaque symptome) theperson is suffering from. Accordingly, it could be cured with medication, implantingpacemakers or ventricular assist devices. Some people get no relief in spite of the initialtreatment being done. They only feel better when the surgery is done. The objective ofthis kind of treatment is to give symptom relief. Ultimately, the person will need a hearttransplant. Stem cell therapy may be also used to cure this problem. However, stem celltherapy has not been proved scientifically. Patients who have this disease must changetheir lifestyle and become more physically active.Common Causes • The use of alcohol and drugs like cocaine • Chemotherapy drugs • Coronary artery disease • End stage kidney disease
  3. 3. • High blood pressure • Infections due to viruses like HIV • Pregnancy • Nutritional deficienciesOutlookThe outlook depends on many factors. These include: • The type and severity of the disease • How well you respond to the treatment • How severe the heart problem is • Angina • Eating high salt foods • Heart attack • Infections or other illnesses • Not taking your medicine correctlyHeart failure is a long drawn out, chronic disease. It may get worse with time. Severeheart dysfunctions like this are a problem for patients throughout their lives. Surgery andother medications may cease to help after a point of time. For more information visit