The Coronary Angiogram is a specialised procedure to determine the health of the coronary arteries. These are the vital arteries supplying blood to the heart.

Procedure Details

How is the Coronary Angiogram Performed?

  • The procedure typically takes place either through the groin, wrist, or the anterior part of the elbow, with a preference for the right side.
  • Local anaesthesia is applied for the patient's comfort.
  • A fine catheter is inserted up to the root of the aorta, which is a primary artery.
  • A contrast agent is then injected directly into the coronary arteries, and images are captured during this process.
  • Patients typically do not experience any pain during the procedure.

Purpose of the Procedure:

  • The main objective is to identify any obstructions in the coronary arteries.
  • The procedure also offers insights into the severity of any detected blockages.

Potential Risks and Complications:

While the procedure is generally safe, there are rare risks associated with it:

  • Stroke occurrence is about 0.2%.
  • A mortality rate of 0.1%, commonly in critically unstable patients.
  • Bleeding at the puncture site, which occurs in less than 2% of cases. However, it is usually manageable.

Alternative Diagnostic Procedures:

A Computerised Tomographic Angiogram, employing a multislice technique, can be considered as an alternative approach.

Who is an Ideal Candidate?

The procedure is best suited for patients exhibiting:

  • Acute coronary syndromes such as the onset of angina, unstable angina, or heart attacks.
  • Significant valvular heart conditions.
  • Diagnosed heart muscle diseases, necessitating a check for coronary artery disease.
  • Individuals who have experienced sudden death but survived.