Also known as cardiac catheterization, a coronary angiogram helps doctors diagnose heart disease. At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, we perform thousands of diagnostic angiograms and interventions each year.
One of the most common forms of heart disease is atherosclerosis. It occurs when a fatty substance called plaque builds up and narrows the coronary arteries. This reduces blood flow to the heart and causes heart attacks.
To diagnose heart disease, our cardiologists perform angiograms—or cardiac catheterization procedures—on an outpatient basis, usually in just a few hours. Cardiac catheterization allows us to measure vital information about the heart, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, level of artery blockage and the functioning of the heart muscle and valves.
A coronary angiogram involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through your arm or groin. A cardiologist injects dye through the catheter and into your coronary arteries, allowing the arteries to be viewed on a television monitor.
If your arteries show important narrowing from heart disease, such as atherosclerosis, your doctor may then use a nonsurgical technique to unblock the arteries—such as balloon angioplasty or a coronary stent—or we may schedule you for bypass surgery.
View an Animation About Angiography
Download Adobe Flash Player
Find a Cardiologist or Heart Specialist
Our online Find a Doctor tool can help you find a heart specialist in the San Francisco East Bay area who can determine the best diagnostic and treatment options for your unique needs.
About the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence
At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, our heart specialists deliver compassionate patient care using leading-edge procedures, to patients living throughout the San Francisco East Bay area. While our cardiac services are located in Berkeley and Oakland, patients come to our heart center from Hayward, Pleasanton, Lafayette, and other East Bay communities as well as from greater California and the United States to seek the best cardiac hospital care available. Our experienced team of top heart and cardiovascular specialists strive to work with each patient to identify the best treatment options for heart and vascular conditions. Whether you need a top heart surgeon (or specialist), a cardiac specialist, a vascular or thoracic surgeon, or one of our best-in-class cardiothoracic specialists - our doctors, nurses and technologists will work with you to strive for the best cardiovascular care for your unique needs. We strive to be the best cardiac hospital not just in the San Francisco East Bay but for every patient who enters our heart center, whether they come from Oakland, Berkeley, or beyond the Bay Area.
Find a Heart Specialist