The Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Cincinnati Children’s is at the forefront of catheterization care for children with heart disease. Our experts perform over 800 cases each year, including innovative new procedures.

Cardiac Catheterization (cath) is a specialized procedure to study or repair the heart. A catheter, or thin flexible tube, is inserted or poked into an artery or vein without cutting. This is often done through the leg, arm, or neck. The doctor then uses X-ray visualization to guide the tip of the catheter to the heart to help diagnose heart problems. Interventional catheterization is used to treat heart conditions using catheters.

Types of Procedures

In the Heart Institute’s Cardiac Catheterization Program, we are able to perform a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic (treatment) procedures, including simultaneous surgery and catheterization procedures, in our state-of-the-art Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. This facility allows us to provide the best and safest care to patients with complex cardiac conditions, while minimizing the total number of procedures or interventions they may require.

We conduct a number of procedures, including:

  • Diagnostic procedures: these are used when more information is needed to define a patient’s anatomy or heart pressures that cannot be seen on non-invasive imaging such as echocardiography, CT scans or MRIs.
  • Treatments:
    • Closure of an atrial septal defect (ASD), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), ventricular septal defect (VSD) or collateral vessels by implanted devices. Valvuloplasty, which is dilation of narrowed heart valves.
    • Angioplasty, which is dilation and stenting of narrowed arteries and veins with or without stent implant.
    • Transcatheter valve implants, which allow many patients who need a valve replacement to avoid open heart surgery.

Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Crossover Procedures

The hybrid suite is also able to offer crossover procedures with our cardiac surgeons when needed. In addition if a patient needs treatment from in another specialty area, that team may be able to join the cath procedure. An example of this would be a child who needs a bronchoscopy and a cardiac catheterization. The pulmonologist can join the procedure, and the patient receives two procedures under one anesthesia. This is particularly useful for patients at higher risk to receive anesthesia.