Wockhardt Guide on Coronary Angiography


If you or your family member has been diagnosed with coronary heart disease and recommended for coronary angiography, we at Wockhardt wish to educate you on coronary angiography.

What is coronary artery disease?

Ageing and other complex factors cause the blood vessels to become hard. In addition, cholesterol and minerals from the blood are deposited on the inner surface of the coronary arteries. When this material builds up, they form a plaque. A raised plaque may restrict the blood flow through the coronary artery.

A raised plaque may also change the surface of the artery from smooth to rough, and these rough surfaces may stimulate the formation of a blood clot, which may lead to narrowed artery.A blood clot can also build up quickly and abruptly close off the artery.

What is coronary angiography?

Coronary angiography is a special technique to visualize the arteries of the heart using x-rays. Normally,plain x-rays do not show coronary arteries. During coronary angiography, using a thin, flexible hollow tube known as a catheter, radio opaque dye is injected in to the coronary arteries. X-rays taken at this time show the coronary arteries and their branches.

Coronary angiography can show the exact site and severity of any narrowing of the coronary arteries. This helps the doctor to decide on what treatment you may need. If the narrowing of artery is mild, it can be treated with medicines alone. If the narrowing of artery is severe, coronary artery bypass graft or coronary angioplasty may be required.

Why is the test performed?

Coronary angiography is performed to detect obstruction in the coronary arteries in patients with angina or chest pain. It may also be performed if patient is having a heart attack for deciding about further treatment Sometimes patients with valve disease or holes in the heart undergoi ng heart surgery may be advised coronary angiography.

Any precaution to be taken?

You are allergic to drugs and seafood, if you have had a bad reaction to contrast material in the past, if you are taking Viagra, or if you are pregnant.

How to prepare for the test?

The procedure is conducted on in - patients.You will be advised admission on the morning of the procedure. Some times admission on the previous evening is advised by the doctors. You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and remain fasting for a few hours before the test.

Your health care provider should explain the procedure and its risks. A witnessed, signed consent for the procedure is required.

How will the test feel?

You will be awake and able to follow instructions during the coronary angiogram. The procedure normally takes 15 to 20mts.

Local anesthesia will be used to numb the site of the test, so the only sensation should be one of pressure at the site.

Occasionally, a flushing sensation occurs after the contrast media is injected. Discomfort may also arise from having to remain still during and immediately after the procedure.

After the test, you might feel a firm pressure at the insertion site, used to prevent bleeding. If the test is per formed through the groin artery, you will usually be asked to lie flat on your back for a few hours after the test to avoid bleeding. This may cause some mild back discomfort.

How is the test performed?

A thin, plastic tube called a sheath is inserted into an artery in your arm or leg.Catheters are passed through this sheat h to the part of the aorta near the heart from which the coronary arteries arise. A special fluid called contrast medium or dye is injected through the catheter into the coronary arteries.

As the blood with the contrast medium flows through the arteries and the chambers of the heart the doctor can see how they look using x-rays. A series of x-ray pictures is recorded as a film (cine angiogram).The doctor will need to make several injections of contrast medium so the coronary arteries can be filmed from different angles.

Throughout the procedures you will be secure on the table. By connecting the catheter to a gauge, the pressure in the chambers of your heart and blood vessels can also be measured. Blood samples from those chambers may be withdrawn for tests.Your heart function and blood pressure will be continuously monitored throughout the procedure.

What is about the result?

Normal result- means adequate blood supply to the heart is a normal finding with a coronary angiogram.

Abnormal Result- means coronary angiography shows the following:

  • Number of coronary arteries blocked
  • Where they are blocked
  • The degree of each blockage

These results can help your doctor to make decisions regarding treatment for your heart disease.


At Wockhardt, we care for your well being. We strongly recommend practicing prevention and securing health.In a world where lifestyle evolves by the day, it is essential to stay in the pink of health.Wishing you and your family good health and happiness always.

The information in the booklet is not intended as a substitute for medical advice but is to be used as an aid in understanding ailment. Always consult your doctor about your medical condition.

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