Outcome and Complications Following Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterisation in Older People

Jenny Walsh Radiology Specialist Registrar; Mark Hargreaves Consultant Cardiologist, Pennine Acute NHS Trust


Br J Cardiol. 2014;21(1):1-4. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


In a retrospective, case-controlled study, we examined the influence of diagnostic cardiac catheterisation (DCC) on the management of a cohort of very elderly patients (aged over 80 years). Peri-procedure complications were also determined. Study and control patients (aged less than 70 years) were randomly selected from patients who had undergone DCC over the previous five years. Data were collected on the primary treatment outcome (immediately following DCC) and the secondary outcome – the treatment the patient eventually received. We found that, while those in the very elderly group (n=100) were more likely to be referred for surgical intervention as a primary outcome, there was no overall difference in secondary outcome between the two groups. There was no difference in peri-procedural complications between the two groups. We observed that, in very elderly patients, DCC is both safe and contributes to clinical management to a similar degree compared with younger patients.


Little observational data exist on the outcome of diagnostic cardiac catheterisation (DCC) in older people. In England and Wales, the population aged over 80 years is growing faster than any other age group.[1] DCC in these older patients may reveal widespread and complex coronary disease less suitable for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and age-related comorbidity may preclude surgical intervention.

We conducted a retrospective, case-controlled study to examine the outcome, influence on management and complications of DCC in patients aged 80 years and older. The findings were compared with patients aged less than 70 years who had DCC over the same period.