Before a cardiac catheterization examination is performed, some preliminary examinations - usually by the family doctor - must be carried out. These include ECG, exercise ECG, lung and heart X-ray, and a blood test to detect the blood count and blood coagulation levels. Of particular importance is the determination of thyroid and renal values. Hyperthyroidism must be excluded because this malfunction is exacerbated by the iodinated contrast agents.
In addition, allergies to contrast media or narcotics must be ruled out. Because the contrast agent is excreted through the kidneys, the kidney function must be clarified.
The examination is usually performed in a special cardiac catheterization laboratory. The patient is lying on a couch, above him the fluoroscopy system; In addition, monitors allow the staff a constant view of the examination itself, as well as the cardiac and circulatory functions of the patient. The examination usually takes ½ to 1 hour; in case of particularly complicated changes in the coronary vessels or in high-grade calcification and valve defects also longer. I
As a rule, the examination is not painful. In some patients, however, the idea that the procedure is performed directly on the heart, despite their consent to inner agitation and tension - in such cases, a sedative can be given. The contrast medium can cause a sensation of heat or nausea when injected, but it disappears within seconds.
After the examination
After the examination, the patient is closely monitored. In order to prevent rebleeding at the puncture site, it is closed with a pressure bandage and often the pressure is increased by an applied sandbag. If so-called anchor systems or seams used to seal the puncture site, can be dispensed with a pressure dressing. A slight pressure sensation at the puncture site and a slight sensitivity, which are triggered by the puncture and the subsequent wound healing, are normal.
If only one exam but no therapeutic intervention has been performed, the patient can get up after 2-3 hours. However, it is important to avoid physical exertion, especially heavy lifting. After 8 to 10 days, the patient is fit again and can do sports again. Dialysis-dependent patients are always connected to the artificial kidney after a cardiac catheterization.
All patients should drink a lot after the examination to aid in the elimination of the contrast agent. Only patients with severe cardiac output may not drink as much because the increased fluid intake would further stress the heart.