Introduction

Angiography is a technique of medical imaging of the heart. The word Angiography is derived from the Greek word ‘angeion’ which means vessel and ‘graphien’ which means to write of record. It is also known as arteriography where an X-Ray is taken of the heart to visualise the inner opening of the arteries, veins and the four heart chambers which are right atrium, right ventricle, left atrium and left ventricle. It requires the insertion of a catheter, a thin tube into peripheral artery to perform this surgery.

Procedure

Coronary Angiography is a procedure to access the coronary flow and blood chambers of the heart using a catheter. It was introduced in 1950s. In this process a patient’s blood pressure and X-Ray shadowgrams of the blood in the coronary artery are recorded. To record the images taken by the X-Ray, a catheter is guided through the large blood arteries into the coronary arteries. High radio density material are used to make these catheters. These catheters allows the X-Ray dye to be exclusively injected and mixed with the blood which is flowing in the artery. Without X-Ray dye it is very difficult to see the blood and internal formation of the heart.

Length

Normal Coronary Angiography usually gets over in a short time period in about halof an hour.

Risks

The common risks which are seen in Coronary Angiography are

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain at the intravenous site
  • Blood clots
  • Damage of the blood vessels by the soft plastic catheters

In the case of serious situations, the risks are

  • Low blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Hemorrhage

Adverse Effects

Patients having diabetes needs to take extra care because the material can cause damage to the kidneys