What is the route a catheter takes in coronary angio?
Coronary angiography (angio for short) is X-ray imaging of the coronary arteries (blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the heart muscle) after injecting radiocontrast material into the arteries using small tubes known as catheters. Tip of the coronary catheter is introduced into the opening of the arteries from the aorta (largest blood vessel supplying oxygenated blood to the whole body). Coronary angiography catheters can be introduced into the body through superficial blood vessels like the radial artery at the wrist or the femoral artery in the groin. Earlier brachial artery in front of the elbow was also used. The vessels are punctured directly under local anaesthesia and a sheath is introduced. The catheter is passed under X-ray fluroscopic guidance. From the radial artery, the catheter passes into the brachial artery, axillary artery, subclavian artery (deep to the collar bone), brachiocephalic artery (at the root of the neck) into the aorta. From the femoral artery, it passes up into the external iliac, common iliac, descending aorta (all three inside the abdomen or tummy) and into the arch of aorta and ascending aorta.