Coronary Angiography (Cardiology)
Body Area: Arms / Hands
Body Parts: Fingers
Symptoms: Fingernails (Curved)
A specialized x-ray procedure to visualize the heart chambers, heart valves, and the arteries that supply the heart muscle, and to evaluate the function of the heart, is called a cardiac catheterization. A very thin catheter is inserted into an artery in the leg or arm and passed (by way of the artery) to the heart where dye can be injected so the heart chambers, valves, and arteries can be seen on a video. Using this technique, damaged heart valves and chambers can be evaluated, and narrowed coronary arteries can be seen. The portion of the cardiac catheterization that looks specifically at the coronary arteries is called coronary angiography and is an integral part of a cardiac catheterization procedure. No surgery is required except for a tiny puncture or nick where the catheter is inserted through the skin into the artery.