An angiogram, also known as an arteriogram, is an X-ray image of the blood vessels used to review various vascular conditions such as an aneurysm (ballooning of a blood vessel), stenosis (narrowing of a blood vessel) or blockages.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Your doctor may decide to postpone the exam or use an alternative exam such as ultrasound to reduce the possible risk of exposing your baby to radiation.
This exam may require a contrast medium (usually a liquid such as barium or iodine that is ingested or injected) to help differentiate structures or fluids within your body. If you have allergies or asthma, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast. Most reactions result in itchiness or hives. If you have asthma and have an allergic reaction to the contrast, you may experience an asthma attack. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or thyroid conditions also increase your risk of reaction to the contrast medium. Tell your technologist or doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam. Our staff and physicians are prepared should any type of emergency situation occur.
During an angiogram, a thin tube called a catheter is placed into a blood vessel in the groin (femoral artery or vein) or just above the elbow (brachial artery or vein). The catheter is guided to the area to be studied. Then, a contrast medium is injected into the vessel to make the area show clearly on the X-ray. This method is known as a conventional or catheter angiogram.
A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.