There are a wide variety of diagnostic tests that can be performed to determine the root cause of cardiovascular symptoms. One such test, called the coronary angiogram or cardiac catheterization procedure, utilizes X-ray imaging to allow physicians to evaluate the coronary arteries. These blood vessels are responsible for supplying the heart with the oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood that it needs to pump efficiently, but they can become obstructed due to plaque buildup.
To perform the coronary angiogram, a cardiologist inserts a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in the patient’s arm or groin under local anesthetic. The catheter is then carefully threaded into the coronary arteries. A contrast material, or dye, is injected through the catheter so the physician can observe the flow of fluid through the heart and detect any blockages. The procedure is typically painless and lasts around one hour. After the cardiac catheterization is complete, the catheter is removed and the patient relocates to a recovery area to ensure his or her stability.
Coronary angiogram is commonly recommended for the following conditions:
- Pain in the chest, neck, jaw, or arm that may be indicative of heart disease and has not been adequately explained by other means
- Chest pain that has recently developed or is becoming worse
- Hereditary heart conditions
- Cardiac failure
- Symptoms of coronary artery disease
- Valve insufficiency that may require surgery to resolve
- Chest injury
At Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center, we offer state-of-the-art CT scanning and digital X-ray technology so physicians can efficiently detect, diagnose, and monitor injury or illness. Learn more about our comprehensive medical diagnostic imaging services by visiting our website or calling us at (888) 530-1053.