According to a review article by the Loyola University Health System, during cardiac catheterization procedures such as a balloon angioplasty, patients run a slight risk of stroke or other neurological complication. Loyola neurologists emphasize that the goal behind the article is to raise awareness of these risks and provide a list of treatment options for when complications do occur.

Researchers add that while raising awareness is key, the risk remains slight and continues to shrink with the onslaught of more refined techniques and smaller and softer catheters. “We want to be careful not scare people who need a cardiac catheterization from getting this beneficial procedure,” H. Steven Block, MD, first author of the review article, explains. In spite of the low risk of stroke or neurological complication, researchers note that the review’s primary purpose is to instill a sense of preparedness.

“A lot of neurologists may encounter neurologic complications only once or twice during their careers. But we would like to raise awareness and knowledge, so they are better prepared when a case does happen,” Block adds.

Source: Loyola University Health System