Transvenous Coronary Angiography with Synchrotron Radiation
X-ray-based angiography continues to be the standard method of assessing the severity and the extent of coronary atherosclerosis. The relative insensitivity of conventional X-ray imaging systems to iodine-containing contrast agents necessitates that the images be acquired with essentially undiluted contrast agent in the lumen of the vessels being studied. This, in turn, requires arterial catheterization and the insertion of the catheter tip in or near the ostia of the vessels and the direct injection of the contrast agent. The health risks and monetary costs of the procedure have limited its use to circumstances in which there is a high probability of the presence of severe disease. Despite these problems, coronary angiography has been employed in serial studies to evaluate the effects of drug therapy and diet on coronary atherosclerosis (1).
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