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Who Needs Coronary Angiography?

Your doctor may recommend coronary angiography if you have:

  • Angina. This is unexplained pain or pressure in your chest. You also may feel it in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. The pain my even feel like indigestion.
  • Survived a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). This is a condition in which your heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.
  • Abnormal results from tests such as an EKG (electrocardiogram), exercise stress test, or other test.

Coronary angiography also might be done on an emergency basis, such as during a heart attack. If angiography shows blockages in your coronary arteries, your doctor may do a procedure called angioplasty (AN-jee-oh-plas-tee). This procedure can open blocked heart arteries and prevent further heart damage.

Coronary angiography also can help your doctor plan treatment after you’ve had a heart attack, especially if you have major heart damage or if you’re still having chest pain.

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Coronary Angiography Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Coronary Angiography, visit

March 02, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.