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Side Effects of Angiography

As with most procedures done on your heart and blood vessels, a coronary angiogram has some

As with most procedures done on your heart and blood vessels, a coronary angiogram has some risks, such as radiation exposure from the X-rays used. Major complications are rare, though. Potential risks and complications include:

  • Potential risks and complications include:
  • Heart attack.
  • Injury to the catheterized artery.
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Allergic reactions to the dye or medications used during the procedure.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Excessive bleeding.

After an angiogram, many people have:



a very small bump or collection of blood near where the cut was made

These problems should improve in a few days or weeks and aren't usually anything to worry about.

You can take painkillers such as paracetamol for any discomfort if you need to.



Most people who have an angiogram won't experience any complications, but there is a small chance of minor or serious complications occurring.

Possible minor complications include:

an infection where the cut was made, causing the area to become red, hot, swollen and painful – this may need to be treated with antibiotics

a mild reaction to the dye, such as an itchy rash – this can usually be controlled with medication

Possible serious complications include:

kidney damage due to the dye – this is usually temporary

a heart attack or stroke

damage to a blood vessel, causing internal bleeding – further surgery may be needed to repair the damage

a serious allergic reaction to the dye (anaphylaxis), causing dizziness, breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness

These serious complications are very rare. For example, an estimated 1 in 1,000 people will have a stroke, and approximately 1 in 50,000 to 150,000 people will develop anaphylaxis.


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