Cardiac Catheterization Useful for Children but Has Risks

Cardiac catheterization mainly recommended for children with congenital heart disease

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although cardiac catheterization in children has inherent risks, it can be used for diagnosis and treatment of several heart conditions, according to a scientific statement by the American Heart Association published online May 4 in Circulation.

Timothy F. Feltes, M.D., from the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues on behalf of the American Heart Association reviewed the literature and formulated recommendations regarding diagnostic catheterization and interventional treatment options for cardiac catheterization in pediatric cardiac disease. Recommendations were based on efficacy, safety, and usefulness, and were classified according to the level of evidence.

The authors recommend that cardiac imaging should be carried out prior to invasive catheterization to improve intervention. As a result of advances in noninvasive imaging, diagnostic catheterization should not be considered routine for diagnosis of defects. Any diagnostic catheterization may necessitate an interventional procedure. Cardiac catheterization has risks but should be used in children with congenital heart disease when the heart's anatomy is inadequately defined by noninvasive means. On the basis of evidence, cardiac catheterization is recommended for atrial transseptal puncture, atrial septostomy, transcatheter device closure, balloon angioplasty and stent placement, transcatheter vascular occlusion, and possibly for transcatheter valve replacement. Post-interventional care must be carefully considered for children undergoing cardiac catheterization.

"There are numerous conditions that are best served by interventional catheterization procedures," Feltes said in a statement.

Several of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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