How dangerous is cardiac catheterization?
Although each patient’s situation is unique and should be discussed with his or her medical team, generally with Texas Children’s team of specialized cardiologists and trained anesthesiologists, a right heart catheterization is quite safe in most patients and has very low risk. The exception to this rule is for infants with preexisting conditions such as extreme prematurity, Down syndrome or other genetic syndromes, who may be managed at least initially without catheterization. Only those infants with relatively mild pulmonary hypertension who respond well to therapy can be safely managed without catheterization. We believe that a cardiac catheterization should be performed in more than 95 percent of patients when they are newly diagnosed with pediatric pulmonary hypertension. Cardiac catheterization allows our team to determine the severity of each patient’s pulmonary hypertension and which type of treatment may be best for the patient. Most patients will require a follow-up catheteri