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Departments: Angiography

An angiogram is performed to diagnose coronary artery disease. The technique we use is called cardiac catheterization. It involves passing thin tubes, called catheters, into the blood vessels, giving us detailed information about the way your heart works.

What Happens?

You may be asked to come into hospital on the day of the test or to come the day before and stay overnight. You will be asked not to eat for 6 hours prior to the test. If you come to the hospital for the day you should arrange transport to take you home and also to have someone stay with you the night after your procedure.

The test takes about 30 minutes and is performed under local anaesthetic with a sedative to relax you. A doctor and nurse will be present to explain the procedure to you. The catheters are inserted into the arteries and veins in the groin or in the arm.

Using x-ray screening to locate the position of the catheters, blood samples and blood pressure can then be taken in the various chambers of the heart. A harmless x-ray dye is injected through the catheter, allowing x-ray pictures to be taken of the coronary arteries. This dye is later eliminated by the kidneys.

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