Cardiac Catheterization

CNS complications of cardiac catheterization are rare and occur in 0.1 to 1.0 percent of patients. The majority of these complications are focal neurological deficits, which are believed to result secondary to embolism from either manipulation of the guidewire or catheter flushing in the ascending aorta when the brachial route is chosen.y Resolution of the focal deficits within 48 hours occurs in approximately half of the patients. In one big series, the carotid circulation accounted for 30 to 40 percent of focal deficits and consisted of hemiparesis, hemisensory deficits, and dysphasia. The vertebrobasilar circulation accounted for 60 percent of the deficits, with combinations of cortical blindness, hemianopic visual field defects, and intrinsic brain stem signs. y

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