Exploration of various parts of the body with needles or tubes for the purpose of securing tissue, or monitoring physiological parameters is a frequent occurrence. Almost any of these manipulations may be associated with its unique complications. In our search for a diagnosis or in pursuit of experimental data the indirect, relatively nonsurgical, approach to a system appears to be associated with minimal risk; indeed, surgical procedures of considerable magnitude may at times be avoided by the accumulation of critical knowledge about a system. Intravascular exploration via the percutaneous route can yield most useful information.
Complications may be local or general, immediate or delayed. We are interested in the immediate complications, especially cardiac perforation. We recognize the possibility that the myocardium may be unknowingly perforated with few or no symptoms; being detected several days later as a bloody pericardial effusion at time of cardiac surgery.
Investigation of the cardiac chambers