A coronary angiogram, is the “gold standard” for the evaluation of coronary artery disease. Angiography is an imaging test used to examine the location and extent of the problem in the blood vessels by using X-ray pictures. In conditions like chest pain(angina),narrow, blocked or malformed arteries, heart attack, stroke and other blood vessels related problems, angiography is performed.

The procedure itself will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. Mild sedation may be given. In performing a coronary angiogram, a doctor inserts a small catheter (a thin hollow tube with a diameter of 2-3 mm) through the skin into an artery in either the groin or the arm. Guided with the assistance of a fluoroscope (a special x-ray viewing instrument), the catheter is then advanced to the opening of the coronary arteries (the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart). Next, a small amount of radiographic contrast (a solution containing iodine, which is easily visualized with X-ray images) is injected into each coronary artery. The images that are produced are called the angiogram. A physician specially trained in angiography studies the X-ray pictures to determine the source of the problem and the extent of damage to the blood vessel segments that are examined.