An angiogram can assess damage to your coronary arteries
- An angiogram is an x-ray examination of your heart (also called cardiac catheterisation) which is used to assess damage to your coronary arteries.
- A catheter (tube) is inserted, under local anaesthetic, into a main artery in your upper leg or lower arm and then passed gently into your aorta (the large artery which supplies the heart muscle with its own blood supply).
- A dye is then injected which fills the blood vessels of your heart (coronary arteries) and an x-ray picture is taken.
- This picture can then be studied to assess which arteries are blocked and how severe the blockages are.
- You cannot feel the catheter in your heart but some people experience a 'hot flush' when the dye is injected.
- Interventions to treat a blockage can sometimes be performed at the same time as an angiogram. This is called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or angioplasty.