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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 of: April 29, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology

Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine

John A. McPherson MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology

Michael P. Pignone MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine