What is Angiography?

What Is a Coronary Angiogram?

The coronary arteries supply your heart muscle with blood. They can become clogged from a buildup of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque). This can reduce the flow of blood to your heart. If a blood clot forms and blocks blood flow through that artery, a heart attack may occur.

Why do I need this test?

A coronary angiogram is a special X-ray test. It’s done to find out if your coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, where and by how much. An angiogram can help your doctor see if you need treatment such as angioplasty or stent, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or medical therapy.Procedures aren’t necessary for all blockages. Sometimes all you need to do is take medicines and:

  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Stay physically active
What happens during an angiogram?
  • You may be given medicine to relax you, but you will stay awake.
  • You go to the hospital’s heart catheterization laboratory (“cath lab”).
  • You lie on a table near a camera and other equipment.
  • Your doctor numbs a spot on your groin or arm and inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an artery and up to the heart. This will hurt no more than a blood test.
  • Special fluid goes through the catheter so arteries show up well on the X-ray.
  • X-rays are taken as the fluid goes through the artery.
  • You may be asked to hold your breath or cough.
  • By studying the X-ray images, the doctor can see any problems with your coronary arteries.
  • If you wish, you can see the X-ray pictures on the screen during or after the test.
What might I feel?
  • Slight pressure as the catheter is put in
  • Rarely, some chest discomfort as the fluid goes in
  • An urge to urinate
  • Rarely, nausea
  • If a picture of the heart’s main pumping chamber is taken (and it’s taken during about 2/3 of angiograms), you’ll feel a hot flash sensation from head to toe that will last for 20 seconds as the special fluid is injected.
  • During the angiogram, you’ll be awake so you can do as your doctor asks.


Prof. Sunil Thanvi is a senior and dynamic cardiologist with a penchant for academics and hard work. He completed his MBBS and MD ( Internal Medicine ) from B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad in 1998....


Zydus Hospital
Near Sola Bridge, S G Highway, Ahmedabad.

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