Rush Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

The Rush Heart Institute catheterization lab offers the least-invasive cardiac treatment alternatives available. Our state-of-the-art lab provides advanced techniques to further diagnose and treat heart disease, while minimizing risk and stress for our patients.

Our cardiologists are supported by a trained cath lab team, which includes nurses, and specially trained technicians who assist physicians with an array of treatment procedures.

Most cath lab procedures and tests completed in the lab can be performed while the patient is awake. Various medications are usually given, depending on the procedure and patient status.

What is a Heart Catheterization?

Heart caths are performed to diagnose, manage, and treat persons with suspected heart disease or actual heart disease. They are the highest standards for definitive diagnosis of heart disease.

A cardiac, or heart, catheterization is a diagnostic procedure in which an artery or vein is cannulated in order to pass one or more catheters through the blood vessel to obtain angiographic (x-ray) images that enable the cardiologists to determine how well the heart and its vessels function. The arteries or veins accessed are usually the arteries in the groin called the femoral vessels. If there is a problem with using the femoral site for access, the brachial artery/vein can be used. The site of access does not effect the test because of the centralization of the heart. This test allows the physician to understand the adequacy of blood supply to the coronary arteries and heart pressures of each patient.