Cardiac Catheterization & Coronary Angiogram

What is a coronary angiogram?

Coronary angiography is the gold standard of diagnosis and it is a specialized X-ray test that shows detailed information about the coronary arteries. It is most frequently carried out on patients with angina to give doctors a clearer picture of the extent and severity of the condition. 

What happens during a coronary angiogram?

During coronary angiography, a special dye is released into the bloodstream. The dye makes the coronary arteries visible on X-ray pictures to help doctors spot blockages in the arteries.  

A procedure called cardiac catheterization is used to get the dye into the coronary arteries. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in the arm, upper thigh or neck. The tube is threaded into the coronary arteries and the dye is released into the bloodstream. X-ray pictures are taken while the dye flows through the coronary arteries.

The procedure is generally carried out while the patient is awake and causes little or no pain.