The technique and safety of transseptal left heart catheterization: the Massachusetts General Hospital experience with 1,279 procedures

Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1994 Aug;32(4):332-9. doi: 10.1002/ccd.1810320409.


With the introduction of interventional procedures such as percutaneous mitral valvuloplasty and radiofrequency ablation of left-sided bypass tracts, there has been renewed interest in the technique of transseptal left heart catheterization. We review our experience with 1,279 transseptal catheterizations performed over the last 10 years. The most common indications for transseptal catheterization included direct measurement of left atrial pressure or access to the left ventricle in patients with prosthetic aortic or mitral valves, and in patients undergoing percutaneous mitral valvuloplasty. A total of 17 major complications occurred (1.3%), including cardiac tamponade (15 patients, 1.2%), systemic emboli (1 patient, 0.08%), and death secondary to aortic perforation (0.08%). We conclude that when performed by experienced operators, transseptal left heart catheterization is associated with low morbidity and mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / statistics & numerical data
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Heart Septum
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged