Angiography, when heard of, always reminds of the machine showing a graph with haphazard lines going up and down with the pulse rate of the heartand the only thing one understands is the straight horizontal line!

But, angiography is not that. It is medical photography in simple terms. Medically, it is an imaging technique using X-ray examination of blood vessels or heart chambers including veins and arteries.

This word has Greek roots with angeion meaning vessel and graphein meaning to write or record. The image is called angiograpgh or angiogram and the process is called angiography or arteriography. This technique was first developed by Portuguese physician and neurologist Egas Moniz in 1927.

The process of coronary angiography is that, a wire/tube called catheter is inserted in the artery either near the arm or thigh, and placed near the heart or the opening of the arteries supplying to the heart. A special fluid called dye or contrast medium is injected and it is visible by X-ray and the pictures obtained are called angiograms. The coronary tubes, if completely filled by the injected dye, is interpreted as no blockage in the arteries, while if there is a filling defect, there is a blockage, which is all a rough estimate.

The tip of the catheter reaches the coronary tube by trial and error method. The tip is viewed on the fluoroscopy monitor (which has heavy radiation) and pushed against the arteries to reach any coronary artery. The danger in this trial-and-error method is that it can scratch the length of arterial tubes of the body and can puncture any corner of the tubes. Also, there is always a risk of bleeding, infection and pain at IV site and blood clots could be formed on catheters, later blocking some other blood vessels. The contrast material could also damage the kidneys, so one has to be always careful.

The percentage of complications in coronary angiography is as low as 1 in 1000. Death, myocardial infarction, stroke serious ventricular arrhythmia, and major vascular complications each occur in less than 1% of patients undergoing catheterizations. These include Cardiac arrhythmias, kidney damage, blood clots (which can cause heart attack or stroke), hypotension and pericardial effusion and many more. Whatever may be the complications, the improved technology and expertise like online doctors, leave a very negligible scope for it.

True it is that technology that has reached our hearts today!

Scheermed provides information about doctors online, medical products, angiographys etc. Docturs is the universal leader in the field of medical services and to know about doctors visit doctors.com/dd

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