Lung catheterization

Lung catheterization is a procedure used to assess the condition of pulmonary arteries and other blood vessels in the lungs. During the X-ray test, a special dye and a camera are used to capture images of showing the flow of blood into the lungs.

Essence of lung catheterization

The chief goal of lung catheterization is to diagnose conditions such as pulmonary embolism and blockages of blood vessels. In case blood flow into lungs is slow, the test identifies such a problem. Besides, the procedure can help the physician in detecting other lung disorders. These might include narrowing of blood vessels, lung problems and malformations, artery aneurysms and pulmonary hypertension. Narrow blood vessels are sometimes the cause of heart murmur in kids.

Preparation for the test

Neither drinking nor eating is allowed 8 hours prior to the test, a requirement similar to heart cath. A patient sins a consent form and wears a gown. Removal of jewelry from the area being imaged is necessary. The patient lies on an X-ray table. A mild sedative is administered relax them. The arm or groin region is cleaned using anesthesia Some of the personal health issues that the doctor should be informed in advance before the test include:-

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Allergies to certain medications, iodine and other related substances
  3. Current medical prescriptions
  4. Previous bleeding conditions
  5. History of kidney problems
  6. Asthmatic cases

Performing the test

A catheter is inserted in the brachial vein (above the elbow) or the femoral vein (groin region). As the catheter is driven into the lungs, some sort of pressure is felt. A contrast material is then injected into the vein to increase visibility of the area being studied on X-ray images. The dye elicits a flushing and warm feeling that lasts for seconds. The pictures obtained can be stored in a computer or turned into X-ray films.

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