An arteriogram is a test that allows a doctor to see the arteries on an x-ray. A contrast dye is injected into the arteries to make them visible. The test makes images that can be used to diagnose and treat problems in the arteries.
An arteriogram is done to check the arteries for narrowing, bulging, or blockages. These could be signs of disease.
Plaque Blocking an Artery
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This test could be done to diagnose conditions such as:
Sometimes, the doctor may treat problems found during the arteriogram. The doctor may dissolve a clot or do angioplasty with or without stenting.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
At your appointment before the test, your doctor will likely:
In the days before your procedure, you will need to:
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
You will have an IV placed in your arm to give you medications. These medications will make you feel sleepy and comfortable.
For this procedure, you will have a catheter placed in your groin or elbow so that the doctor can inject the contrast dye. The skin where the catheter will be placed will be cleaned. The doctor will make a tiny cut. The doctor will then insert a hollow needle into the artery. A thin wire will be placed into the artery. The catheter will be threaded over the wire, and the wire will be removed.
The doctor will use the catheter to inject a contrast dye into your artery. The dye may cause you to feel warm or flushed for a few moments. The doctor will take x-rays to see how the contrast dye is moving through your arteries. You will need to lie still to prevent blurry images.
About one hour.
Although the procedure is not painful, you may feel:
After the test, the catheter will be removed. The IV will also be removed from your arm.
Immediately following the procedure:
When you return home, take these steps:
Call your doctor if any of these occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Heart Association
Radiological Society of North America
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Angiogram (arteriogram). California Pacific Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.cpmc.org/learning/documents/ir-angioarterio-ws.pdf. Updated September 2007. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Angiogram. VascularWeb website. Available at: http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/angiogram.aspx. Updated January 2011. Accessed May 20, 2013.
MR angiography (MRA). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=angiomr. Updated July 2, 2012. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Stroke diagnosis. American Stroke Association website. Available at: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/Diagnosis/Diagnosis_UCM_310890_Article.jsp. Updated November 21, 2012. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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