Special Procedures - Arteriogram
Angiograms provide physicians with x-ray images of arteries or veins for diagnostic purposes. Angiography studies are frequently used to detect blockages, vein narrowing, bleeding locations or damaged arteries or tumors. Angiography may be used to study the blood vessels in and around the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, arms and legs. This procedure is performed under conscious sedation.
Angiograms may be used to diagnose the cause of symptoms that suggest vascular disease. Angiogram procedures may also be used to view the body before surgery or other interventional procedure.
Angiogram procedures involve placement of a catheter in an artery or vein, injection of a contrast agent into the catheter and x-ray imaging. Patients should tell the technologist of any previous reactions to contrast. When such procedures are performed on arteries, the procedure is known as an arteriogram. When an angiogram procedure is performed on veins, the procedure is called a venogram.
For arteriogram, the catheter insertion site; groin area or arm is cleaned and shaved, if necessary, to prep for the injection of a local anesthetic. This injection stings a bit, but it will numb the area. Patients should only feel pressure as the catheter is inserted through a small incision. Then, a contrast agent is injected through the catheter to make the artery visible on x-rays. When the contrast is injected the patient may experience a warm sensation for a few seconds. Several contrast injections and multiple x-rays are needed for the procedure. Once the catheter is removed, firm pressure is applied until bleeding stops. More time may be needed if a second procedure, such as arterial angioplasty / stent placement is performed at the same time.