What is coronary arteriography?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
The "gold standard" test used in diagnosing coronary artery disease is coronary arteriography (also called coronary angiography). Coronary arteriography is used to confirm a diagnosis in people who are suspected of having coronary artery disease on the basis of noninvasive tests, such as the exercise tolerance test, or whose tests were inconclusive. It's also recommended for some people known to have coronary artery disease, to determine the location and extent of arterial blockages, and for those being considered for angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.

Coronary arteriography is a type of cardiac catheterization (a procedure in which a thin tube called a catheter is inserted into a coronary artery). About 1.3 million cardiac catheterizations are performed in the United States each year -- mostly in hospitals with special laboratories designed for this purpose.

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