Coronary arteriography is a radiographic exploration of the coronary vessels in living subjects. This procedure was initiated about 32 years ago when Peter Rousthöi demonstrated angiographically the coronary arteries in intact experimental animals.1 Radner, in 1945, was able to perform the technique in the living man.2 Although the initial attempts at vascular opacification were viewed with considerable ridicule by skeptical onlookers, enough experience has been accumulated to consider the procedure safe and reasonably accurate. This accomplishment was made possible through the development of new contrast media and significant improvement of roentgenographic and catheterization techniques.
Presently, two basically different approaches are used for contrast visualization of the coronary arteries: catheter thoracic aortography and selective catheter coronary arteriography.3 In thoracic aortography, improved filling of the coronary arteries is accomplished when attempts are made to decrease the cardiac output, prolong the ventricular diastole, or obstruct the thoracic aorta. Catheterization of