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Cardiac catheterization (also called cardiac cath or coronary angiogram) is a procedure that allows your doctor to "see" how well your heart is functioning. The test involves inserting a long, narrow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your arm or leg, and guiding it to your heart with the aid of a special X-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that X-ray movies of your valves, coronary arteries and heart chambers can be created.