What is an angiogram?
How is a coronary angiogram performed?
- In performing a coronary angiogram, a doctor inserts a small catheter(a thin hollow tube with a diameter of 2-3 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 thecoronary arteries (the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart).
- Next, a small amount of radiographic contrast (a solution containing iodine, which is easily visualized with X-ray images) is injected into each coronary artery. The images that are produced are called the angiogram.
- The procedure takes approximately 20-30 minutes.
- After the procedure, the catheter is removed and the artery in the leg or arm is either sutured, "sealed," or treated with manual compression to prevent bleeding.
- Often, if an angioplasty orstent is indicated, it will be performed as part of the same procedure.