Angiography

An angiography is an x-ray exam of the blood vessels. The exam uses a chemical that is injected into the blood vessels. The chemical makes the blood vessels easier to see on the x-ray.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the catheter site
    • Extreme sweating, nausea, or vomiting
    • Extreme pain, including chest pain
    • Leg or arm feels cold, turns white or blue, or becomes numb or tingly
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Any problems with your speech or vision
    • Facial weakness

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    An angiography is an
    x-ray
    exam of the blood vessels. The exam uses a chemical that is injected into the blood vessels. The chemical makes the blood vessels easier to see on the x-ray.

    Angiography
    Nucleus factsheet image
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This procedure may be done to:

    • Help doctors identify narrowed, enlarged, and blocked blood vessels
    • Determine if there is blood leaking out of the vessels and into other parts of your body

    In some cases, the doctor can treat a blocked blood vessel during the procedure. This would prevent the need for another procedure.

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Allergic reaction to chemical used

    • Abnormal heart beats, called
      arrhythmias
    • Bleeding at point of catheter insertion
    • Damage to blood vessels, which can cause damage to organs and tissue
    • Kidney damage from contrast material
    • Infection
    • Stroke

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Allergies, especially to x-ray dye, iodine, medications, or certain foods, including shellfish
    • Kidney problems
    • Diabetes
    • Bleeding disorder