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.
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