What is a right heart catheterization?

A right heart catheterization is a test used to see how well your heart is pumping (how much it pumps per minute) and to measure the blood pressure in your heart and the main blood vessels in your lungs. The test is also called pulmonary artery catheterization. A right heart catheterization is different than a left heart catheterization (coronary angiography), which is used to check for blockages in your arteries.

Why do I need a right heart catheterization?

Your doctor may want you to have a right heart catheterization to find out if you have high blood pressure in your lungs (pulmonary hypertension). The test can help find the cause of pulmonary hypertension and show how bad it is.

You may also need a right heart catheterization if you are being evaluated for a heart, lung or other organ transplant.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/15/2018.

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