An arteriogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. It can be used to view arteries in the heart, brain, kidney, and other parts of the body.
Related tests include:
- Aortic angiography (chest or abdomen)
- Cerebral angiography (brain)
- Coronary angiography (heart)
- Extremity angiography (legs or arms)
- Fluorescein angiography (eyes)
- Pulmonary angiography (lungs)
- Renal arteriography (kidneys)
- Mesenteric angiography (colon or small bowel)
- Pelvic angiography (pelvis)
The test is done in a medical facility designed to perform this test. The exact procedure depends on the part of the body being examined.
You may receive medicine to help you relax.
For most tests:
- A dye (contrast) is injected into an artery.
- Injection into an artery takes more preparation and care. Most of the time, an artery in the groin will be used. Occasionally an artery in your wrist may be used.
- X-rays are taken to see how the dye flows through your bloodstream.
How you should prepare depends on the part of the body being examined. Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain drugs that could affect the test, or blood thinning medicines. In most cases, you may not be able to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the test.
You may have some discomfort from a needle stick. You may feel symptoms such as flushing in the face or other parts of the body. The exact symptoms will depend on the part of the body being examined.
If you had an injection in your groin area, you will most often be asked to lie flat on your back for a few hours after the test. This is to help avoid bleeding. Lying flat may be uncomfortable for some people.
An arteriogram is done to see how blood moves through the arteries. It is also used to check for blocked or damaged arteries. In some cases, treatments can be done at the same time as an arteriogram.
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Review Date: 1/5/2016
Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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