Pulmonary angiography

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Pulmonary Angiography

Pulmonary angiography is a test used to diagnose and find out the underlying cause of various diseases in the lungs by examining it with X-rays. During this test, contrast material is injected into an arterial catheter placed into a pulmonary artery in your body. The contrast material then travels to the lung, which is then highlighted on the X-ray and studied to determine any possible vascular problems.


Before your procedure, you will need to discuss with your doctor about the possible medications that need to be stopped for the test to be conducted successfully, such as aspirin and blood thinners. Your doctor might also ask you to do not eat or drink anything the evening before your test. You might be asked to fast for 6-8 hours before the procedure. Talk to your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you take and if any of them needs to be stopped prior to your procedure.


In order to conduct a pulmonary angiography, you will first have to lie flat on a table so that the technician can take the necessary X-ray. The doctor will then insert a catheter and numbing agent into an artery in your neck or groin which will then be guided all the way to your lung. A contrast material will be flushed into the catheter and an X-ray will then be taken. The contrast material will help to see any blockages or problems in the area. After the procedure, the catheter will be removed.


  • X-ray pulmonary angiography: Contrast material is injected into an artery of your body and images are taken of the lungs.
  • CT pulmonary angiography: Special technology like CT scans or computerized tomography used to see inside the body.
  • MRI pulmonary angiography: An MRI machine is used to take images of lungs.
  • Risks

    The risks of pulmonary angiography are minor when the procedure is performed in a skilled center. The risk of infection is low but there can be side effects like an allergic reaction to the contrast material or breathing difficulty due to the dye being injected into the body. If you have any cardiac issues like a heart murmur, stroke or valve problems, then speak to your doctor about the risks associated with the procedure.


    Pulmonary angiography is used to diagnose and find out the underlying cause of diseases such as pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension, and other forms of pulmonary vascular diseases. It can also help to determine the most effective treatment plan for such diseases.


    Pulmonary angiography should be used if the patient has symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing up blood that cannot be easily resolved using other diagnostic tests. If the patient has a history of pulmonary vascular diseases, this test should be strongly considered.

    Further Reading

    Pulmonary angiography: indications, techniques, and practical tips
    Pulmonary angiography:Types, Indication, Preparation, Interpretation and Complications
    Pulmonary Angiography Tests and Procedures
    Safety and efficacy of pulmonary angiography: a systematic review