A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses imaging to view your heart’s blood vessels. It is primarily used to check for narrowed or blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease).

Computerized tomography angiography (CTA)

A CTA test uses X-rays to visualize blood flow in arteries and veins throughout the body. To visualize the vessels, contrast material is injected into a small peripheral vein using a small needle or catheter. During the examination, beams of X-rays are passed from a rotating device through the area of interest in the patient's body from several different angles to create cross-sectional images. Those images are then assembled by computer into a three-dimensional picture of the area being studied.

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)

An MRA is test that images the vascular system using magnetism and radio waves to produce high resolution, three-dimensional images of the blood vessels within the body. Unlike CTA, MRA may or may not require the use of an IV contrast agent. And whereas CRAs involve exposure to radiation, MRAs do not.

Most patients undergo CTA and MRA procedures without being admitted to a hospital. Based on the results of the test, your physician may recommend treatments ranging from medications and lifestyle changes to procedures such as stenting, angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

Heart and vascular specialists

The experienced heart and vascular specialists at Houston Heart are experts at diagnosing and treating heart and vascular conditions.

To learn more, schedule an appointment.