Coronary angiography is a procedure that uses contrast dye, usually containing iodine, and x ray pictures to detect blockages in the coronary arteries that are caused by plaque buildup.
Blockages prevent your heart from getting oxygen and important nutrients. This procedure is used to diagnose ischemic heart disease after chest pain, sudden cardiac arrest, or abnormal results from tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) of the heart or an exercise stress test.
It is important to detect blockages because over time they can cause chest pain, especially with physical activity or stress, or a heart attack. If you are having a heart attack, coronary angiography can help your doctors plan your treatment.
- Symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as chest pain (angina).
- Pain in your chest, jaw, neck or arm that can't be explained by other tests.
- New or increasing chest pain (unstable angina).
- A heart defect you were born with (congenital heart disease).
- Abnormal results on a noninvasive heart stress test.
- A heart valve problem that requires surgery.