What is angiography?

Coronary angiography is a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to find out if there is a blockage in a coronary artery.
It is one of the cardiac catheterization procedures that can be done to the heart to diagnose and treat some heart conditions.

Purpose of test\ why it’s done?

A coronary angiogram is recommended for some cardiovascular cases, such as:

●Coronary artery disease or angina symptoms
●Unstable angina symptoms
●Unexplained chest, jaw, neck, arm pain
●Unexplained chst discomfort or shortess of breath
●Congenital heart disease
●Heart stress testabnormal results
●Some blood vessels problems
●Some heart valve problems

How does it work?

This process mainly depends on the injection of a type of dye into the blood vessels, which can be seen on an X-ray machine, which takes a lot of images eventually, these images are called angiograms.

During the angiography, the doctor can decide if there is a need to open a clogged artery then

Risks & Complications:

Angiography is considered a sefe procedure, however, it has some potential risks and complications, including:
●Catheterized artery injury
●Allergy to the dye
●Radiation exposure risks
●Heart attack
●Kidney damage

Before the test: timing, location, what to wear, food and drink, cost, what to bring.

In order to prepare for the procedure, a patient should follow some instructions. Some of these instructions could be:
● Inform your health care provider about all the medications you currently take.
●Tell your doctor about any diseases you have.
●You should be fasting for a specific period of time before the procedure.
The doctor may tell the patient more instructions, depending on their case.
The medical team will review the medical history and check the vital signs.
A patient should remove any accessories, contact lenses, eyeglasses, hairpins, empty their bladder, and put on a hospital gown.

During the test

A patient will lie on an X-ray table with safety straps fastened across the chest and legs.
An IV line will be inserted into their veins to administrate any needed medications and sedatives. A patient should be sleepy to be relaxed, but still able to listen and follow the health care team instructions.
Some medical devices will be there to measure the patient’s vital signs, such as a blood pressure cuff, oximeter, and chest electrodes.
The area where the catheter will be injected is shaved, if needed. It will be washed, disinfected, and numbed.
The catheter will be inserted into the blood vessesl using a sheath through a small incision to reach the heart.
This patient are not supposed to be in pain or uncomfortable.
A dye will be injected through the catheter to be easily seen on X-ray images.
Then, the doctor will notice if there is any blockage, and will decide if the case nedds an extra catheter procedure to open up the artery, such as a balloon angioplasty or a stent placement.
The doctor or decision maker may need some additional noninvasive tests to confirm the need for more invasion.
The whole process may take around one hour unless there was more procedures combined with the angiogram.

After the test

After the process, the catheter is removed and the incision is closed. A patient will be taken to a recovery room untill the medical team is notice that their health state is stable, then they will be taken back to their room.

They will need to lie flat for many hours and a pressure maybe applied to the incision site to avoid bleeding.

A health care provider may advice the patient to drink a lot of water to flush the remaining dye in their body and eat if they can.

A patient will receive some instructions to follow about his medications, activities, work, and lifestyle after he go home.

The patient may go gome the same day or the day after the procedure.

Usually, the procedure is not painful, but the puncture site maybe slightly tinder and bruised for a while.


The angiogram is an informative procedure that helps the doctors to choose the best treatment options for each case. It helps them know the narrowed or blocked arteries, pinpoint the blockage location, check the blood flow through the heart and blood vessesl, and check the results of previous procedures.


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Fawaz Almutairi

Saudi Arabia

Fawaz Portrait GIS president


President, Gulf Intervention Society

Interventional Cardiologists

National Guard Hospital

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Shehab

United Arab Emirates

shehab portrait vice president GIS


Vice President, Gulf Intervention Society

Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine

Chairman of Education, EMA 

Editor Chief New Emirates Medical Journal 

Alain, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Khalid Bin Thani



Treasurer, Gulf Intervention Society

Head of Scientific Committee, GIS Conference

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist

Bahrain Specialist Hospital Manama, Bahrain
Khalid Bin Thani GIS

Mousa Akbar



General Secretary, Gulf Intervention Society

Head of Cardiology Unit, Al Sabah Hospital

Kuwait City, Kuwait

mousa Akbar GIS