Why it's done

Your doctor may recommend that you have a coronary angiogram if you have:

  • Symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as chest pain (angina)
  • Pain in your chest, jaw, neck or arm that can't be explained by other tests
  • New or increasing chest pain (unstable angina)
  • A heart defect you were born with (congenital heart disease)
  • Abnormal results on a noninvasive heart stress test
  • Other blood vessel problems or a chest injury
  • A heart valve problem that requires surgery

Because there's a small risk of complications, angiograms aren't usually done until after noninvasive heart tests have been performed, such as an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram or a stress test.