Why is it done?

Angiography is an X-ray examination of your veins, arteries and heart chambers that looks at blood flow. Angiography may be used to identify the sites where the arteries have become narrowed or blocked and can also reveal any blood clots, calcium deposits or any weakening or bulging of your artery walls (aneurysms ). An angiogram is often needed to decide what treatment is necessary for your heart failure.

What does it involve?

A fine, flexible, hollow tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in your groin or arm. The tip of the tube is positioned either in the heart or at the entry of the arteries supplying the heart before a special dye is injected, visible by X-ray. The pictures obtained are known as angiograms.

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • What are the risks associated with the procedure?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the angiography, i.e. can I eat and drink?

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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