Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are Cardiac Catheterization and cardiac angiography the same?"
Hello. My mother has had a heart attack and will need to undergo cardiac catheterization. Is this the same as angiography?
This is a great question, and I can see how preparing for these procedures can be confusing as the terminology can be overwhelming. For all intents and purposes cardiac catheterization and cardiac angiography are the same thing, but I will explain the technical difference for you. Cardiac catheterization describes a procedure in which small catheters are inserted into arteries or veins and snaked up into the heart. This is done in order to perform various diagnostic procedures, such as look at pressures in the heart or blockages in the heart's arteries, as well as treatment procedures, such as treat a blocked artery. Cardiac angiography refers specifically to one of the procedures that can be done during cardiac catheterization. In cardiac angiography small amounts of due are injected into the arteries in the heart. This always for the anatomy of these blood vessels to be visualized and blockages or other problems to be diagnosed. If blockages are found, then the doctor performing cardiac angiography may also perform one of several treatment procedures at the same time, such as placing a stent into the artery to open up the blockage. Talk to your mother's cardiologist if you have more questions!
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