I have been performing interventional cardiology
for nearly 30 years.

Procedures - Coronary Angiography


What does the test show: This is a diagnostic test (usually the first one performed) , called a Coronary Angiogram or arteriogram which produces moving images of the outlines the arteries of the heart which with considerable reliability shows if there are any narrowings or blockages. The movie shows a narrowing in the right coronary artery which supplies blood to the muscle of the underside of the heart. The tight narrowing was the cause of a heart attack. I have performed at least 20,000 cases since 1980.


The catheters are introduced from the artery in the groin or the wrist as described above. Contrast medium is injected directly into the coronary arteries. This usually produces excellent quality of moving images of the coronary arteries and identifies any narrowings


Who needs a coronary angiogram
Most procedures are undertaken in patients with chest pain which has a moderate to high chance of being due to the heart. For example central chest pain ( also felt in the neck and arms) which is nasty and aching which occurs on exercise and is relieved by rest. Other non-invasive tests such as exercise ECG or scans may be abnormal.


Video image of the right coronary artery showing the catheter, the artery and a severe narrowing at the top of the artery that had led to a
heart attack.


See also: www.nlm.nih.gov