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 The Basics of Coronary Arteriography

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peggy1258



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Join date : 06.07.2011

ПисанеЗаглавие: The Basics of Coronary Arteriography   Чет Юли 14, 2011 11:08 am

Coronary arteriography, also called coronary angiography, is the standard diagnostic test for coronary artery disease, but because it's an invasive test it's often ordered only after you've had a series on noninvasive heart tests.
Worried about your heart health? Find a cardiologist in your area.

What Is Coronary Arteriography?

Coronary arteriography is a procedure in which a very thin catheter, or tube, is threaded through an artery from the groin, neck, or arm to the coronary arteries around the heart. The doctor uses this catheter to put a contrast dye into the blood of the coronary arteries. The dye shows up on X-rays and highlights the coronary arteries. The X-rays are called angiograms.

A doctor looking at these images can see whether you have a lot of plaque (fatty buildup) that is causing your coronary artery to be more narrow than normal. As plaque builds up, it is harder for oxygen-rich blood to get to the heart through the coronary arteries. This can cause chest pain, angina, and even heart attack. This is called coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as coronary heart disease.

You will be awake for a coronary arteriography procedure, although you may be given medication that will help you relax. Your doctor will numb the spot where the catheter is put into your body. This procedure is done in a hospital catheterization laboratory, or cath lab. You may be able to go home the same day but some people are kept overnight to be observed.

When Is Coronary Arteriography Used?
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Coronary arteriography is used to understand:

* Symptoms, if you've shown signs of heart disease such as angina.
* Test results if the results of a noninvasive test for heart disease, such as a stress test, suggest heart disease.
* Heart attack, when you've gone to the emergency room because of a heart attack.
* Location of blockages before angioplasty, a procedure in which a surgeon uses a very tiny balloon to open an artery that has become blocked.
* Ongoing symptoms after a heart attack, if you're still having symptoms or your doctor needs more information about how to treat you as you recover.

It's worth noting that just because you have chest pain and other possible symptoms of heart attack does not mean that your angiogram will show signs of coronary artery disease. In fact, in a review of patient data from 238 patients who had cardiac catheterization because of chest pain, researchers found that only one-third had coronary artery disease.

Benefits and Risks of Coronary Arteriography Ultrasound

This relatively painless test takes less than three hours and gives a definitive answer to the question of whether — and where — you have buildup in your coronary arteries. In emergency situations, it may help open up a blocked artery to get blood flowing again.

Coronary arteriography is performed on millions of adults every year and has minimal risks associated with it. However you should be aware that:

* There is a risk of bleeding from the site where the catheter was first put into your body. You are usually advised to take it easy for a few days and not put any pressure on or near that location, other than the pressure applied by hospital staff immediately after the procedure.
* There is a small risk of infection or pain at the catheter site.
* Some people are allergic to the dye that's used to highlight coronary arteries.
* Rarely, cardiac catheterization causes damage to blood vessels.
* There are other rare complications, such as damage to the kidneys, the formation of blood clots, low blood pressure, or irregular heart beat.

You probably won’t be able to drive after the procedure, so make sure you have someone who can take you home.

People who are over age 75, have diabetes, have kidney disease, are female, or are receiving coronary arteriography on an emergency basis are more likely to have complications than other patients. Despite the possibility of damage to kidneys, coronary arteriography has been shown to be safe and informative in preparation for kidney transplants.

Although coronary arteriography remains the gold standard for diagnosing coronary artery disease, cardiac computed tomography (CT) is a noninvasive test that offers much the same information, according to researchers.

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