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Level 1, cardiac catheter suite, Royal Derby Hospital (The nearest entrance is 9)


A coronary angiogram is an X-Ray picture of the blood vessels in your heart (coronary arteries).

A fine, flexible, hollow tube called a catheter is passed into an artery either in your groin or arm. It is gently passed through until it reaches the coronary arteries. A dye is then injected through the catheter into the coronary arteries so they can be seen on X-Ray. Pictures are taken from several angles.

The X-Rays are like a road map of your coronary arteries, showing if they are narrowed. The test can also give information about the blood pressure inside your heart and how well it is pumping.

The test is not usually painful as you will have a local anaesthetic first. Some people feel a hot flush or warm feeling when the dye is being injected.

While a coronary angiogram is being done, it is sometimes possible to treat narrowed coronary arteries, using a technique called coronary angioplasty.

As a result of the procedure the future management of your condition can be decided.

Before recommending that you have coronary angiography, your doctor will have been certain that the potential benefits to you clearly outweigh any risks.

When the catheter is removed, pressure will be applied to your groin or wrist to allow the blood vessel to seal. If the test was carried out through your groin, you must lie flat for several hours to avoid the amount of bruising you may get.

Other Information

  • You will be asked to have a bath or shower on the morning of the test.
  • You should not have anything to eat for four hours before admission.
  • You will need to bring with you your own towel, dressing gown, slippers, something to read if desired and as few valuables as possible.
  • You must bring with you any medication you are taking in their original containers.
  • Please inform the staff one week before the procedure if you are taking Warfarin or Metformin as these drugs may need to be stopped before the procedure.
  • You should ensure someone stays with you overnight.