Cardiac Catheterization Lab Definitions

Left Heart Catheterization (LHC)
A Diagnostic procedure that detects problems of the coronary arteries used in diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD). 

Right and Left Heart Catheterization (RLHC)
Diagnostic procedure which includes the measurement of pressures in the right side of the heart, as well as detecting problems in the coronary arteries. This assists in the diagnosis of valvular heart disease as well as coronary artery disease.

Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
Provides a three-dimensional perspective of the internal structure of the coronary arteries. Viewing the arteries with this tool helps guide the selection of appropriate therapy.

Wave Wire
Assists in determining whether a blockage is functionally significant by looking at the blood flow in spite of the stenosis. The coronary pressure derived assists in identifying those who will benefit from intervention.

Intraortic Balloon Pump
The use of a balloon attached to a catheter inserted through the femoral artery into the descending aorta. This assists in decreasing the workload of the heart and increasing the flow of blood to the coronary arteries.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
The process of inflating and deflating an angioplasty balloon in the area of blockage in a coronary artery. This assists in increasing the blood flow through the coronary artery relieving the patient of chest pain.

Stent
The placement of a stent, which is a mesh, metal tube placed in a coronary artery to assist in keeping the artery open after an angioplasty procedure.

Atherectomy
A procedure that removes substances that clog the coronary arteries. This is typically followed by PTCA or Stent placement to assist in keeping the artery open.