Diagnosing heart conditions
Cardiac catheterisation and coronary angiography can be used to help diagnose a number of heart conditions.
- coronary heart disease (CHD) – where a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart) affects the heart's blood supply; CHD can cause heart attacks and angina
- heart attacks – serious medical emergencies where the heart's blood supply is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot
- angina – a dull, heavy or tight chest pain caused by a restriction in the heart's blood supply
- congenital heart disease in children – a range of birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart
- valvular heart disease – problems with the function of 1 or more of the 4 valves within your heart
- cardiomyopathy – diseases of the heart muscle, which are sometimes inherited
Treating heart problems
Coronary angiography is also used before or during certain treatments.
For example, it may be used if you need to have:
- a coronary angioplasty or percutaneous coronary intervention – a procedure to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries
- a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) – surgery to divert blood around narrow or clogged arteries and improve blood flow to the heart
- heart valve surgery – an operation to repair or replace the heart valves