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What is a Coronary Angiogram?
A Coronary Angiogram uses X-ray imaging to see your hearts blood vessels. Coronary Angiograms are usually done as part of a group of procedures known as heart catheterisations that diagnose and treat heart and blood vessel conditions. A Coronary Angiogram is the most common procedure in this group of tests. It can show the consultant what’s wrong with your blood vessels and can:
- Show how many of your coronary arteries are blocked
- Pinpoint where blockages are
- Show how much of the blood flow is blocked through your blood vessels
- Check previous coronary bypass surgery
What happens during a Coronary Angiogram?
A small incision will be made in the wrist or the groin, and a small plastic pipe is placed under local anaesthetic.
A catheter (plastic pipe) will be directed to your heart. A dye will be injected through the catheter which may give you a warm or flushing feeling. This makes it is easy to see on x-ray images. As the dye moves through your blood vessels, your consultant can observe the flow and easily identify any blockages or constricted areas.
An angiogram usually only takes about 20 minutes, although it is can take longer if additional tests are added on at the same time. Sometimes detailed pressure readings are needed and a further catheter is inserted (L and R heart Catheter)
At the same time, coronary physiology can be assessed by looking at the pressure drop across any narrowing that is seen, with a Pressure Wire study (iFR, or FFR).
Sometimes additional imaging is done at the same time to look at the narrowing in more detail:
- Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
The puncture in the artery will be sealed with a plug or band to avoid it bleeding.
Why do I need a Coronary Angiogram?
You may be recommended a Coronary Angiogram by your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Symptoms of coronary artery disease
- Pain in your chest, jaw, neck or arm
- New or increase chest pains
- Abnormal heart stress test results
- A heart defect when you were born
- A heart valve problem requiring surgery
Risks of a Coronary Angiogram
A Coronary Angiogram is a safe procedure. There can be risks with most procedures done on your heart and blood vessels, and with a coronary angiogram the risks include:
- Heart attack
- Exposure to radiation
- Injury to catheterised artery
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Allergic reaction to the dye
- Kidney damage
- Excessive bleeding
How to get a Coronary Angiogram
Following on from a comprehensive review with your Consultant Cardiologist, if you are referred on for Coronary Angiogram test, we will be referring you to one of our hand selected third party providers. The team at OneWelbeck Heart Health will give you all the information you will need to ensure you are looked after when you leave us.
Invasive Coronary Angiogram Specialists
Our Heart Health specialists at OneWelbeck in London are leaders in their field. They are equipped with the latest diagnostic medical technology at custom-built, day-case facilities to investigate any symptoms and ensure you receive the best available care.
To speak with a specialist about Invasive Coronary Angiogram, contact our team today.
We are available from Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm.