Angiogram (Cardiac Catheterization)
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.
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