Arteriogram (Angiogram)

Normally, the arteries are not visible on a conventional x-ray. With the arteriogram (also known as an angiogram), a radiopaque contrast material is injected into a specific artery, via a catheter (a long skinny, hollow tube). It is usually inserted into one of the large blood vessels in the groin. X-rays of an area of particular interest will clearly demonstrate the artery's course.

Arteriograms can be performed on any number of the major arteries.

Arteriograms are used to evaluate the following conditions:


2. ANEURYSM (a weakened and distended area in a vessel)


4. PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE (most common use of arteriography)


1. EXTREMITY ARTERIOGRAM - Extremity angiograms can be used in cases of serious bone fracture, or a gunshot wound, in which a major blood vessel may have been injured. More commonly, the extremity angiogram is used to evaluate the patient with peripheral vascular disease. The arteriogram can determine the extent of disease, it's location, and help the physician assess the need for emergency surgery.

2. CAROTID ARTERIOGRAM - This test is used to study the blood flow in the large vessels in the neck which supply the brain (carotid arteries). Narrowing of these vessels is usually secondary to atherosclerosis. Diseased carotid vessels are a major cause of stroke.

3. CEREBRAL ARTERIOGRAM - This test is used to study the smaller arteries [inside the head] which supply the brain. This arteriogram can reveal a congenital abnormality such as an AVM (tangle of blood vessels) or aneurysm.

4. PULMONARY ARTERIOGRAM - This study allows visualization of the pulmonary arteries. This test is performed on patients with suspected pulmonary embolism. The pulmonary angiogram is considered to be the most sensitive and specific test for the diagnosis of blood clots in the lung.

***** REMEMBER *****

1. A radiopaque contrast is used for this test. Tell the doctor if you are allergic to iodine or shellfish.

2. Tell the doctor if you are on any medications (particularly blood thinners).

3. Tell the doctor if you have had ANY bleeding problems.

4. Tell the doctor if you may be pregnant.

***** RISKS *****

Risks include blood vessel rupture, dislodgment of a clot which can lead to a stroke (less than 1 in 400 cases), bleeding at the injection site (rarely life-threatening), nerve damage, and infection at the injection site. Although rare, these complications should be considered as risks of the procedure Benefits of the exam, which include an accurate diagnosis, often considerably outweigh the risks.

Relative radiation exposure depends on the type of exam. The amount runs in the medium range as compared to other x-ray studies. Radiation, in high doses, is thought to contribute to the development of some forms of cancer and birth defects in early pregnancy. Radiation doses used in arteriograms are far below these dangerous levels.

The risk of allergic reaction to contrast dye is always possible as with any test involving injectable iodinated contrast. The likelihood of an allergic reaction is quite low and, in the vast majority of cases, it is easily treatable. The death rate (directly) related to contrast allergy is approximately 1 in 40,000 cases.

Medication can be given to counteract the allergic symptoms in those patients who have had a prior allergic reaction to contrast. Some patients may be pre-treated with corticosteroids to decrease the incidence of allergic reactions.


Abdominal Ultrasound
Abdominal X-Ray
Allergy Testing
Amylase Blood Test
Arterial Blood Gases
Barium Enema
Blood Chemistry
Blood Coagulation Test
Blood Cultures
Blood Glucose Test
Blood Test Smac 25
Bone Marrow Biopsy Aspiration
Cardiac Catheterization Angioplasty
Cardiac Enzymes
Cholesterol Blood Test
Complete Blood Count
CT Scanning Back
CT Scanning Chest Abdomen
Drug Levels
Glucose Tolerance Test
Hepatitis Blood Test
HIV Blood Test
Kidney Biopsy
Kidney Blood Test
Liver Biopsy
Liver Blood Test
Lymph Node Biopsy
Mononucleosis Test
Peritoneal Lavage
Pregnancy Blood Test
Prostate Specific Antigen
Skin Biopsy
Spine X-Rays
Thyroid Biopsy
Thyroid Blood Test

Become a regular visitor at our "Health Care Blog" - Here are the latest blog entries:


Home © All rights reserved.

Health Care BLOG || Your Feedback & Suggestions || Health Directory


Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional medical services. Any mdical or other decisions should be made in consultation with your qualified health care provider. We will not be liable for any complications, injuries or other medical accidents arising from or in connection with the use of or reliance upon any information on this web site.