Left heart ventricular angiographyAngiography - left heart; Left ventriculography
Left heart ventricular angiography is a procedure to look at the left-sided heart chambers and the function of the left-sided valves. It is sometimes combined with coronary angiography.
How the Test is Performed
Before the test, you will be given medicine to help you relax. You will be awake and able to follow instructions during the test.
An intravenous line is placed in your arm. The health care provider cleans and numbs an area on your arm or groin. A cardiologist makes a small cut in the area, and inserts a thin flexible tube (catheter) into an artery. Using x-rays as a guide, the doctor carefully moves the thin tube (catheter) into your heart.
Intravenous means "within a vein. " Most often it refers to giving medicines or fluids through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. This allows th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
When the tube is in place, dye is injected through it. The dye flows through the blood vessels, making them easier to see. X-rays are taken as the dye moves through the blood vessels. These x-ray pictures create a "movie" of the left ventricle as it contracts rhythmically.
The procedure will usually last less than one hour but may be considerably longer.
How to Prepare for the Test
You will be told not to eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the test. The procedure takes place in the hospital. Some people may need to stay in the hospital the night before the test.
A provider will explain the procedure and its risks. You must sign a consent form for the procedure.
How the Test will Feel
You will feel a sting and burn when the local anesthetic is injected. You may feel pressure when the catheter is inserted. Occasionally, a flushing sensation or a feeling that you need to urinate occurs when the dye is injected.
Why the Test is Performed
Left heart angiography is performed to assess the blood flow through the left side of the heart.
A normal result shows normal blood flow through the left side of the heart. Blood volumes and pressures are also normal.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results may be due to:
- A hole in the heart (ventricular septal defect)
Ventricular septal defect
Ventricular septal defect is a hole in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles of the heart. Ventricular septal defect is one of the m...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Abnormalities of the left heart valves
- An aneurysm of the heart wall
An aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a part of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Areas of the heart that are not contracting normally
- Blood flow problems on the left side of the heart
- Heart-related blockages
- Weakened pumping function of the left ventricle
Coronary angiography may be needed when blockage of the coronary arteries is suspected.
Coronary angiography is a procedure that uses a special dye (contrast material) and x-rays to see how blood flows through the arteries in your heart....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Risks associated with this procedure include:
- Abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias)
An arrhythmia is a disorder of the heart rate (pulse) or heart rhythm. The heart can beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregul...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Allergic reaction to dye or sedating medicines
- Artery or vein damage
- Cardiac tamponade
Cardiac tamponade is pressure on the heart that occurs when blood or fluid builds up in the space between the heart muscle and the outer covering sac...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Embolism from blood clots at the tip of the catheter
Blood clots are clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid. A blood clot that forms inside one of your veins or arteries is calle...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Heart failure due to the volume of the dye
- Kidney failure from the dye
- Low blood pressure
- Heart attack
Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack. " If blood flow is cut off for longer th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Right heart catheterization may be combined with this procedure.
Right heart catheterization
Swan-Ganz catheterization (also called right heart catheterization or pulmonary artery catheterization) is the passing of a thin tube (catheter) into...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Left heart ventricular angiography has some risk because it is an invasive procedure. Other imaging techniques may carry less risk, such as:
- CT scans
A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the...
Heart magnetic resonance imaging is an imaging method that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the heart. It does not use ra...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Radionuclide ventriculography
Nuclear ventriculography is a test that uses radioactive materials called tracers to show the heart chambers. The procedure is noninvasive. The ins...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Your provider may decide to perform one of these procedures instead of left heart ventricular angiography.
Kern MJ, Seto AH, Herrmann J. Invasive hemodynamic diagnosis of cardiac disease. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 22.
Patel MR, Bailey SR, Bonow RO, et al. ACCF/SCAI/AATS/AHA/ASE/ASNC/HFSA/HRS/SCCM/SCCT/SCMR/STS 2012 appropriate use criteria for diagnostic catheterization: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Heart Association, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Heart Failure Society of America, Heart Rhythm Society, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012;59(22):1995-2027. PMID: 22578925 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22578925/.
Valente AM, Dorfman AL, Babu-Narayan SV, Krieger EV. Congenital heart disease in the adolescent and adult. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Bhatt DL, Solomon SD, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 82.
- Heart failure(In-Depth)
- Myocardial infarction(Alt. Medicine)
- Heart attack and acute coronary syndrome(In-Depth)
- Coronary artery disease(In-Depth)
- Atherosclerosis(Alt. Medicine)
Review Date: 10/26/2022
Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.