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Angiography Helps Cardiologists Diagnose Blood Vessel Blockages and Other Heart Problems

X-ray angiography is a major tool in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and problems of the arteries and veins (the vascular system) carrying blood throughout the body. It allows the cardiologist to actually see these organs in action and accurately diagnose problem areas.

How Angiography Works

Angiography is a catheterization procedure, in which a very thin tube is inserted into a major blood vessel (generally through a very small incision in the groin area), then threaded through the blood vessel to the heart or an area in a blood vessel the cardiologist wants to see. The cardiologist is able to track the progress of the catheter on a video screen showing a live X-ray image.

When the tip of the catheter is at the heart or at the point in the blood vessel the cardiologist wants to investigate, a dye is injected into the blood vessel through the catheter. The dye makes the blood vessels and the blood they carry stand out on the X-ray image, allowing the cardiologist to clearly see any narrowed areas in the arteries.

Angiography is a very valuable diagnostic tool that can tell a doctor:

  • How many coronary arteries may be blocked by fatty plaque deposits
  • Where blockages are occurring, and how bad they are
  • How well blood is flowing through a patient's heart and arteries
  • How effective earlier treatments, such as coronary artery bypass surgery, have been 

For more information about heart treatment options or to schedule an appointment, please call the Phoebe Heart and Vascular Center at (229) 312-4438.