Coronary angiography is a medical diagnostic technique used to visualize the inside, or the lumen of coronary arteries for any abnormality or blockages. In this, the patient is laid down on a flat transparent x-ray table and a catheter is inserted in any major artery of hand or leg (usually leg) and is guided by the physician using a guide wire so as the tip of catheter just reaches the opening of any coronary artery. The catheter is used to obtain detailed imaging of internal lumen of coronary arteries. It takes 20-30 minutes to perform one coronary angiography. It is a minimally invasive diagnostic technique and the patient stays awake during the whole procedure.
Coronary angiography is performed on the patient in case of suspected blockages or abnormalities in coronary arteries. Indications that call for coronary angiography are heart attack, unstable angina, abnormal stress test, new-onset unexplained heart failure, dangerous cardiac arrhythmia, persistent chest pain despite of medical treatment. Coronary angiography provides better information for any deformity in the blood circulation of the heart and helps in planning treatment strategy. Coronary angiography is used for both diagnostic as well as treatment purposes.