Cardiac angiography (also known as cardioangiography and coronary angiography) is a type of X-ray examination that creates detailed images of the arteries and the blood flow. The coronary arteries supply the heart muscle with blood and can become clogged from a build-up of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque). This can reduce the flow of blood to the heart. If a blood clot forms and blocks blood flow through that artery, a heart attack may occur.
A coronary angiogram shows if coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, where and by how much, revealing if treatment, such as angioplasty, stent, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or medical therapy is required.
The process includes inserting a special dye, called contrast medium, into the arteries to show the direction of flow of blood to give higher visual contrast and to identify any irregularities such as puncturing the artery wall. This type of visualization is called an angiogram.
During the procedure a long, thin, flexible tube, called a catheter, is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or arm. Using X-ray images for guidance, the tip of the catheter travels up to the heart and the coronary arteries. The contrast medium appears on the angiograms, confirming the blood vessels that the fluid has travelled through. This will clearly highlight any blood vessels have narrowed or blocked.
Fibercore’s spun multicore fibers, for example SSM-7C 1500(6.1/125) can be combined with fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) to enable a reduction in the use of X-rays such that the catheter position can be located through 3D shape sensing within the optical fiber.