A coronary angiogram is a test that uses x-ray imaging and contrast dye to view the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood to the muscle of the heart.
During this procedure, a guidewire is carefully inserted into the femoral artery through a small incision in the patient’s upper thigh. This wire is then guided up into the heart.A long, thin, tube with a specialized tip, called a cardiac catheter, is then inserted along the guidewire into the heart . The guidewire is removed and then the catheter is positioned in the opening of a coronary artery. While x-ray images are taken, contrast dye is injected into the coronary artery. Blockages in the artery show up as areas of narrowing.
If the coronary arteries are blocked, an angioplasty or stenting may be performed to open the narrowed arteries. The catheter is removed from the body when the procedure is finished.
Visit Houston Cardiovascular Institute Website for more information.