A special catheter tip which has shaped clamp is inserted to the heart chamber, where he collects small pieces of the heart muscle to clarify the etiology of diseases. The technique consists of venous or arterial catheterization (catheter is introduced through the jugular, groin or the arm region). Rarely, this procedure can trigger cardiac arrhythmias; rarely it can cause a rapid accumulation of fluid in the sac that surrounds the heart (pericardium).
It is the technique by which the excess liquid formed between the 2 layers of tissue which surround the heart is removed (the excess liquid is caused by myocardial infarction, common cold, cancer, systemic diseases, etc). This liquid compress the heart and causes pump dysfunction. Alexandru Mischie says the procedure is achieved through a puncture below the xifoid: with prior local anesthesia, a syringe with a long needle easily penetrates the chest; once into the pericardial fluid, the needle is replaced with a catheter that does not injure the heart ; the catheter will remove the excess liquid up to his disappearance. Sometimes the catheter is left in place for 1-3 days until no more liquid is aspirated.
Once extracted the liquid is analyzed in the laboratory for infection, cancer or other diseases. The procedure is slightly painful, although it is performed under local anesthesia and usually takes 30 minutes.
Trans-septal catheterization of the left heart
The technique is similar to the coronary catheterisation technique, only that this time the catheter will puncture a vein and not an artery. The goal is to reach the left heart going through right heart through a muscular wall called the atrial septum. Catheterization can be made through the groin, neck or upper arm under local anesthesia. A catheter is advanced to the heart. To reach the left atrium, the cardiologist will breach the wall between the two atria with a needle-like catheter which has a special sharp tip which perforates the septum and allows passage of the catheter into the left heart (left atrium).
Once in the left heart the catheter that can measure filling pressures, it can take blood samples or even can advance a balloon to dilate the mitral valve (mitral valvuloplasty). The procedure is performed under mild sedation and can sometimes take up to 2 hours. After the withdrawal of the catheter, there will be a small remaining oriffice between the two atria which usually will close spontaneously with time. Explanatory videos can be found here.
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