Angiography is done to visualize the insides of blood vessels using X-rays. Learn about the various types and uses of angiography.
The word angiography has originated from the combination of two Greek words i.e, angion meaning 'vessel' and graphein meaning 'to record'.
Angiography is an excellent investigation to diagnose a variety of vessel disorders in various parts and organs of the body like:
1) Coronary angiography: It is done to diagnose the narrowing of coronary arteries which supply blood to the walls of the heart and their narrowing/blockage leads to myocardial infarction/ischemia i.e, in simple language, a heart attack.
2) Cerebral angiography: It is done to diagnose abnormalities of the blood vessels of brain.
3) Pulmonary angiography: It is done to diagnose pulmonary embolism (blockage of main vessel of the lung).
4) Peripheral angiography: It is done to diagnose the occlusive disease of the arteries of limbs specifically legs.
5) Renal angiography: It is done to diagnose renal artery stenosis (narrowing of arteries that supply blood to the kidneys).
6) Spinal angiography: It is done to diagnose vascular malformations and certain tumours of spine.
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Angiography (Angiogram) examines blood vessels by injecting an iodine dye, commonly called the contrast medium, and viewing it under X-rays. Physicians perform it in the angio laboratories. It is performed when the patient is lying on his back, where a unique sheath and then the catheter are moved up in the vein with the groin or wrist's arteries.
Angiography is a painless procedure where the pain felt is less than the pain in a routine blood test. There is no pain during the angiogram as there are no nerves present in the arteries.
Angiography is needed to detect and treat conditions like:
- Heart-related problems.
- To identify narrowing of blood vessels in patients with leg cramps or claudication.
- Renal stenosis (to prevent high blood pressure).
- In head to detect and repair stroke.
- To locate blockages in the lungs.
Angiography can usually take 30 minutes to 1 hour, but it may also take a long time if combined with other catheterization procedures. The duration also depends upon the medical condition of the patient.
Angiography gives detailed information about the heart's functions and the amount of oxygen present in the blood as it passes through the heart. Angioplasty is used to narrow the arteries or reconstruct the blocked blood vessels, followed by an angiogram. Local anesthetics are used in both procedures.
It would be best if you did not eat anything eight hours before the angiography to pinpoint problems in your heart and arteries.
Angiography is an imaging technique that examines blood vessels by injecting a special like iodine dye, commonly called the contrast medium, and viewing it under X-rays. It is done when the patient is lying on his backbone, where a single sheath and then the catheter are passed up in the vein with the groin or wrist's arteries.
Angiography is a safe procedure across all age groups, but it also has minor side effects like soreness and bruising and a small risk of serious complications.
There are various types of angiography which include:
- Coronary angiography.
- Peripheral angiography.
- Pulmonary angiography.
- Cerebral angiography.
- Retinal angiography.
- Digital subtraction angiography.
- Magnetic resonance angiography.
- Radionuclide angiography.
- Computed tomography angiography.
The advantages of angiography are:
- This provides proper localization of the bleeding.
- It has a therapeutic benefit that includes vasopressin infusion or embolization.
- It does not require the preparation of the bowel.
An alternative for angiogram is the non-invasive test called CT angio, which has limited sensitivity and specificity. But also to proceed for angioplasty to eliminate the block, one needs the conventional angiogram where CT angio is not helpful.
Last reviewed at:
22 Jul 2019 - 2 min read
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