Bilateral cardiac catheterization rate

A diagnostic cardiac catheterization is a procedure done to diagnose heart disease, including coronary artery disease, and discover the location and extent of the disease. If left undiscovered and untreated, blockage or narrowing in the coronary arteries may cause a heart attack or death.

Cardiac catheterizations are usually only done on the left side of the heart. Cardiac catheterization on the right-side has little additional benefit for most patients, unless they have conditions that make it necessary. Some of these conditions are high blood pressure, significant right-sided valve abnormalities, congenital heart disease, heart failure and heart transplantation. Some institutions, like Northwestern Memorial Hospital, see a higher acuity of patients as with the conditions highlighted above, thus increasing their rate of bilateral cardiac catheterization. There is no gold standard benchmark regarding an ideal percentage rate.

About this measure

This measure tracks the number of patients who had bilateral cardiac catheterizations out of every 100 patients who had any type of heart catheterization in the hospital. The second graph shows a trend over time for this measure.


Most Recent Available Data (Number)
  2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 3.1
National Average 1.4
Performance Trend (Number)
  2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2012 Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 3.1 2.9 1 2 3.2 3.4 3.3 3.1
National Average 1.73 1.73 1.73 1.73 1.73 1.73 1.73 1.4
Source:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,
Bilateral cardiac catheterization