Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 17.9 million deaths each year. CVD includes stroke and several conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. The most common type of cardiovascular disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), a hardening or clogging of the arteries caused by a buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits, or plaques. This buildup can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle, cut off blood supply to the heart and result in a heart attack.
Cardiac catheterization, which uses a narrow catheter inserted into the heart via an artery or vein under x-ray guidance, is one of the most widely performed cardiac procedures used to diagnose and treat CAD and other types of CVD.