Close

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Test: Coronary Angiography

Coronary angiography is used to image the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood. Angiography can image narrowed or blocked coronary arteries, which are not visible on a normal X-ray. A local anaesthetic is injected, and a fine, flexible catheter is passed into the femoral artery, through the aorta, and into a coronary artery. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter, and a series of X-rays is taken. The procedure is painless, but you may feel a flushing sensation as the dye is injected.

During the procedure

The catheter is positioned in the heart so that its tip rests in a coronary artery, and contrast dye is then injected. The artery and the small vessels leading from it are visualized by a series of X-rays. The catheter may be repositioned and the procedure repeated to check all the coronary arteries.

Route of catheter

Results

Coronary artery disease

This angiogram of the heart shows a section of coronary artery that has become narrowed by coronary artery disease, restricting blood flow.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.