Heart Catheterization, Diagnostic
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What Are the Risks?

The risks of the catheterization depend on the type of heart problem a child has and the age of the child. In general, infants and children that are not ill and are of appropriate size are at low risk. Problems with the procedure are infrequent and minor. These might include bleeding, infection or injury to the blood vessel. More serious risks might be arrhythmia, injury to the heart, or allergic reaction to the dye used to make the picture. There is an extremely remote risk that a child might have a stroke or die as the result of a catheterization procedure, though this is very unlikely. The risk of major complications from a diagnostic cardiac catheterization is 1 in 10,000.

Parents whose child needs to undergo this test should discuss the procedure in detail with their cardiologist.