Cardiac Angiography is a test that uses contrast media (sometimes called dye) and special x-rays to examine the coronary arteries for plaque buildup. This test is used for diagnosis of coronary disease. It is important to detect blockages because, over time, they can cause chest pain, especially with physical activity, stress, or a heart attack.
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In performing a Cardiac Angiogram, a doctor inserts a small catheter (a thin hollow tube with a diameter of two to three mm) through the skin into an artery in either the groin or the arm.
Guided with the assistance of a fluoroscope (a special x-ray viewing instrument), the catheter is then advanced to the opening of the coronary arteries (the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart). Next, a small amount of radiographic contrast is injected into each coronary artery. The images that are produced are called the angiogram.
From there, your doctor will be able to see the severity of all coronary artery blockages and can select the optimal treatment.
How long does this procedure take?
Approximately 20-30 minutes.
Is this procedure uncomfortable?
No, you should not experience any significant discomfort during this procedure.