Coronary angiogram

Also known as a cardiac catherisation. This is a diagnostic procedure to look inside your heart's arteries to see if there are any blockages or narrowing of the arteries.

Enquiries & Appointments

Checking images during a cath lab procedure

Our Coronary angiogram locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London

What is a coronary angiogram?

A coronary angiogram also called a cardiac catherisation, is a procedure used to diagnose the degree and severity of heart disease.

It can show a cardiologist where your arteries are narrowed or blocked, as well as how badly or how well your heart is pumping blood.

If your arteries have narrowed your cardiologist may proceed to performing a coronary angioplasty, an additional procedure where a small balloon is inserted into the artery that is blocked, then inflated to expand the artery and allow the blood to flow more freely.

What is a Coronary angiogram?

The procedure is usually performed as a day case. You’ll be given local anaesthetic to numb your groin or wrist. You may also be given a light sedative. Your consultant will insert a small, flexible tube into an artery at the top of your leg or your wrist.

Your consultant will guide a fine wire (catheter) through the tube to your heart's arteries. They will inject a special dye through the catheter and take some X-rays. This will help to show any narrowing in your arteries. You may feel a warm sensation while they do this. We may measure the blood pressure in one or more of your coronary arteries (pressure wire study) at the same time as your angiogram.

Your consultant will tell you how to prepare. It’s important to let us know if you’re taking any medication, as you may need to stop taking it beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved.

We will explain these to you and answer any questions you have. If you’re allergic to shellfish, iodine or contrast agents, please tell us before you have your procedure as it could increase your risk of having an allergic reaction. You will be asked to stop eating and drinking a few hours before your test.

You should be able to go home on the day of your procedure. Please arrange for someone to travel home with you. You should rest for three to four days to allow your wrist or the top of your leg to heal.

Your consultant will discuss your results with you, and let you know when you can get back to your usual routines and activities. They'll also give you advice on medication, exercise, travel, diet and alcohol.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.