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A coronary angiogram is a catheter-based procedure that provides a detailed look at the arteries supplying your heart with blood. The procedure helps determine the extent of blockages in your heart’s arteries, if any, and is primarily used to diagnose coronary artery disease.
A New Approach to Coronary Angiography
In addition to offering the traditional angiography procedure, experts at Houston Methodist offer a noninvasive angiography technique called a coronary CT angiogram. This 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, to take detailed pictures of your arteries and heart.
However, if blockages are detected, a second procedure called coronary angioplasty may be required to open blockages.
How a Catheter-Based Coronary Angiogram Is Performed
During a coronary angiogram, your interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into an artery in your groin or wrist. Your cardiologist guides this catheter through your blood vessels to your heart, and then injects a special dye into the catheter that helps provide contrast during visualization. An x-ray machine is used to create pictures and movies of your beating heart and surrounding vessels.
Having the catheter already in place means that, if necessary, your interventional cardiologist can immediately perform a coronary angioplasty to open any blockages he or she finds.
After your angiogram, our specially trained cardiologists review the results and recommend the next steps for treatment or methods for maintaining a healthy heart.