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A coronary angiogram is done as a test for a heart problem or if you are at a high risk of having a heart problem. It can help your doctor decide what treatment you may need.

  • Reasons for an angiogram may include:
  • To locate narrowings or blockages if you have symptoms of coronary heart disease such as chest pain suggestive of angina or heart attack
  • To measure the pumping ability of your heart
  • To measure the pressure and oxygen levels in different parts of your heart
  • To look for heart valve problem
  • To detect a heart defect from birth (congenital heart disease)
  • To take a sample of heart tissue (biopsy)

You may be given some medication just before the procedure to help you relax. A local anaesthetic is given to numb the skin.

After that you will feel very little discomfort. The catheter carries the dye directly to the blood vessels of your heart, which can now be easily seen on the X-ray screen. At different times you may be asked to take a deep breath and to hold it for a few seconds while the camera moves around you. During the test it’s quite normal to feel warm and flushed when some dye is pumped in by machine.  

If the angiogram test shows that there is disease in your heart or coronary arteries, or both, your doctor will discuss treatments with you. Heart disease can be treated successfully with one or a combination of: