BACKGROUND

A coronary angiogram, commonly called a “cardiac cath or angiogram”, is a procedure used to evaluate multiple aspects of the hearts structure and function including the heart’s blood vessels (looking for blockages), the pumping function, and valves. A catheter is a long, thin, hollow tube that is inserted into the circulation, usually through the blood vessels in the groin, and guided to the heart using special X-ray equipment. Once in position, measurements of the heart’s function using special pressure measurements, as well as X-ray movies of the heart chambers and blood vessels by injecting contrast (X-ray dye) can be obtained.