Arteriogram: An Overview

An arteriogram is an imaging test that uses X-rays and dye injected into an artery to show the location of any blockages or narrowing of the vessels. This test is used to diagnose and manage certain diseases, such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and renovascular hypertension caused by kidney artery narrowing.

Preparation & Procedure

Prior to an arteriogram test, you should discuss with your doctor any medications or substances that you are allergic to, or other medical conditions that you may have. You should also inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as the X-rays and dye used in an arteriogram could harm an unborn baby. During the procedure, a thin tube, called a catheter, is inserted into a blood vessel in the leg or arm. The catheter is then advanced to the location being studied, where a contrast dye is injected while X-ray pictures are taken.

Types of Arteriograms

  • Coronary arteriogram: A coronary arteriogram provides more detailed imagery of the coronary arteries than a regular angiogram, which is an X-ray of the artery from the outside.
  • Renal arteriogram: A renal arteriogram is an X-ray of the renal artery. It can detect blockages that cause the narrowing of the renal artery.
  • Carotid arteriogram: A carotid arteriogram is an X-ray of the carotid artery. It can detect blockages that may cause stroke.
  • Peripheral arteriogram: A peripheral arteriogram is an X-ray of the vessels located outside the heart, typically in the legs. It can detect blockages that cause peripheral artery disease.

Risks of Arteriogram

Like any medical procedure, an arteriogram procedure carries certain risks. These include, but are not limited to, reaction to the dye that is injected, infection at the site where the catheter was inserted, bruising, minor bleeding, and allergic reaction to the dye or medication. In rare cases, more serious risks include cardiac or renal complications, nerve injury, and stroke.

Why Arteriogram is Performed?

An arteriogram is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed quickly and accurately to diagnose conditions or evaluate treatments. It can provide detailed images of the arteries, allowing physicians to detect blockages, narrow spots, or other abnormalities in the arteries. This can help determine the best treatment plan for the patient.

When Arteriogram is Recommended?

An arteriogram is usually recommended when the physician suspects there is blockage or narrowing of the arteries. It is often used to diagnose coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and renovascular hypertension. It is also used to evaluate treatments such as stents, angioplasty, and bypass surgery. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine if an arteriogram is right for your needs.