A coronary angiogram is an X-ray imaging test that Houston Methodist cardiologists use to obtain a detailed look at the arteries that supply your heart with blood. The procedure helps determine the extent of any blockages in your heart’s arteries and is primarily used to diagnose coronary artery disease.
During a coronary angiogram, your cardiologist will insert a catheter in an artery in your groin, which is guided through blood vessels to the heart. A special dye, known as contrast material, is injected into the catheter; this is used with a computed tomography (CT) scan to create a high-resolution, 3-D picture of your beating heart and its surrounding vessels. Having the catheter already in place means that, if necessary, an angioplasty can be performed immediately to open any blockages found.
Houston Methodist also offers our heart patients the option of undergoing a coronary CT angiogram. This minimally-invasive procedure is performed without the use of a catheter. Instead, an intravenous (IV) line is inserted into your arm or hand through which the contrast material is injected in order to take detailed pictures of your arteries and heart. If blockages are detected, however, a second procedure may be required in order to open blockages.
Our specially trained cardiologists will review the results from your coronary angiogram in order to recommend the next steps for treatment or methods for maintaining a healthy heart.