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Right heart ventriculography

Right heart ventriculography is a study that images the right chambers (atrium and ventricle) of the heart.

Alternative Names

Angiography - right heart

How the test is performed

You will get a mild sedative 30 minutes before the procedure. A cardiologist will cleanse the site and numb the area with a local anesthetic. Then a catheter will be inserted into a vein in your neck or groin.

The catheter will be moved forward into the right side of the heart. As the catheter is advanced, the doctor can record pressures from the right atrium and right ventricle.

Contrast material ("dye") is injected into the right side of the heart. It helps the cardiologist determine the size and shape of the heart's chambers.

The procedure will last 1 to several hours.

How to prepare for the test

You will not be allowed to eat or drink for 6 - 8 hours before the test. The procedure takes place in the hospital. Generally, you will be admitted the morning of the procedure. However, you may need to be admitted the night before.

A health care provider will explain the procedure and its risks. You must sign a consent form.

How the test will feel

You will be given local anesthesia where the catheter is inserted. The only thing you should feel is pressure at the site. You will not feel the catheter as it is moved through your veins into the right side of the heart.

Why the test is performed

Right heart angiography is performed to detect the cause of abnormal blood flow through the right side of the heart.

Normal Values

See Swan-Ganz catheterization.

What abnormal results mean

  • Abnormal connections between the right and left side of the heart
  • Abnormalities of the right atrium, such as atrial myxoma (rarely)
  • Abnormalities of the valve on the right side of the heart
  • Abnormal pressures or volumes
  • Weakened pumping function of the right ventricle (this could be due to many causes)

What the risks are

Special considerations

This test may be combined with coronary angiography .

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Updated: 5/22/2010

Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Director, Northwestern Clinic Echocardiography Lab, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.


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