An angiogram of the heart is a kind of an x-ray that is done using a special dye and a camera known as fluoroscopy. The procedure allows the doctor to take photographs of the flow of blood in an artery or vein. An angiogram is used to look at veins or arteries in the belly, back, chest, legs, arms and head. Common angiograms look at the arteries near the aorta, legs or arms, neck and head, brain, lungs, and heart.
When an angiogram is done, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel by injecting it in the groin region. It is injected in the femoral artery. The catheter can also be placed above the elbow in the brachial artery. An iodine dye is introduced into the blood vessel so that the area becomes visible in the in X-ray images. Also known as catheter angiogram or conventional angiogram, the procedure helps to locate an aneurysm or reveals a blockage or narrowing in a blood vessel that can reduces the flow of blood. A heart attack angiogram can show if a person has heart disease.
A MRA or magnetic resonance angiogram, or a CTA or computed tomography angiogram are the other forms of an angiogram. These tests are less invasive than a conventional angiogram.
An angiogram is done for the following reasons -
You should inform your doctor at the very beginning if you are pregnant If you are breast feeding, then you will have to use formula milk for a couple of days till the dye gets flushed out of your body. If you are allergic to the dye or to any medicines, then you need to let your doctor know of the same before the test is conducted. In fact, if you have had any allergic reaction to any substance, then too you need to tell your doctor immediately. You also need to tell your doctor if you are suffering from asthma, or have diabetes or kidney problems.