Is Having an Angiogram Dangerous?

The procedure of using X-Ray imaging to study the blood vessels of your heart in order to find out if there is any restriction of blood blow anywhere is known as angiogram. The process may also be called as coronary angiogram. Such a process of testing is used to treat the condition of your heart and its blood vessels. One of the most used and common types of catheterization process for cardiac purposes in order to diagnose heart condition is coronary angiogram.

While the angiogram is being performed a type of dye that can be visible and detected by the X-Ray machine is injected in your heart through its blood vessels. Due to this dye, your heart, tis chambers and the blood flow in the blood vessels can be clearly seen and images of the same are taken. Any kind of clogged blood vessels can be immediately identified. Doctors sometimes can perform angioplasty to open any kind of clogging in the arteries of the heart during the process of coronary angiogram.

Why Do You Need to Get an Angiogram?

Symptoms like chest pain or a sign of a heart attack usually leads the doctor to make you undergo the process of the angiogram. The chest pain you might often get is due to stress and after the stress test, if any abnormality in the readings of the EKG machine is noted, the doctor chooses to perform an angiogram. The process of coronary angiogram is a very common and reliable method to identify when it is your heart that you might have a blockage. The test is mostly harmless and there are almost no risks. Receiving a stress test and then an angiogram is the golden rule for doctor for identifying heat conditions.

Is Having an Angiogram Dangerous?

Though coronary angiogram is harmless, doctors sometimes decide to not go through this process in case the patient is too weak at heart, has already undergone a heart surgery. According to the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Clinic at Cleveland, doctors performing an angiogram on a patient who is too ill to undergo a bypass surgery or angioplasty may endanger the life of the patient.

During the process of the coronary angiogram, a catheter or a thin tube is passed through the groin (through the leg artery) up to the heart in order to pass the dye and study the condition of the blood vessels of the heart. This process should be carried out in the Cardiac Catheterization lab of any hospital. Even though the process is very common, many large hospitals lack the facility of the proper lab. You must check the hospital facility for perform the test before you sign up for your angiogram.

What are the Risks Factors Associated with the Procedure of Angiogram?

Angiogram cannot be considered as a fruitful test since it often fails to identify a certain kind of heart disease usually common in women. Coronary micro-vascular syndrome which spreads plaque through the walls of the arteries of the heart cannot be detected through angiogram. Even though the stress tests for such patients with chest pain may appear abnormal, the angiogram reports look clear. Therefore in such cases, the patient is endangered due to lack of proper identification of the heart disease.

Angiogram also requires certain kind of medication to calm the patients down during its process therefore the patient’s medical history should be thorough to the doctor. Some of the possible complications of angiogram are:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Arrhythmias or irregular heart beats
  • Injury caused to the catherized artery
  • Reactions like allergy caused due to the medications and dye during the procedure of the angiogram,
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 9, 2017

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