If other tests or factors suggest a diagnosis of coronary artery disease, a coronary angiogram may be recommended. Dr. Patel, can you tell us about this test?
Certainly, Dr. Phillips. Coronary angiography uses dye and special x-rays to show the insides of the coronary arteries. This test enables providers to detect blockages in the arteries.
To get the dye into the coronary arteries, the provider uses a procedure called cardiac catheterization. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm or groin. The tube is threaded into the coronary arteries, and the dye is released into the bloodstream. Special x-rays are taken while the dye is flowing through the coronary arteries, allowing the provider to study the flow of blood through the heart and blood vessels.
If blockages are detected, a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary angioplasty, may be performed to improve blood flow to the heart.