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Angiogram Procedure in North Texas

Imaging of Blood Flow Within Arteries & Veins

Angiography is an X-ray test that produces images of the blood flow within major arteries or veins. Each test is named for the blood vessel being studied. For example, an angiogram of the aorta is called an aortagram, and an angiogram of an artery is called an arteriogram.

During angiography, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is threaded into a blood vessel in the arm and guided to the section of blood vessel the doctor wants to study. A dye, or contrast material, is injected into the vessel to make it more visible on the X-ray pictures. The X-ray camera is placed above the patient, and moves up and down during the test.

Angiogram pictures can be produced on traditional X-ray films or stored as digital images in a computer. A regular angiogram can be used to evaluate the arteries or veins in the arms, legs, chest, or abdomen. Special angiography tests can look at the arteries near the heart, lungs, and brain.

Who Needs an Angiogram?

An angiogram may be recommended when a person has a possible problem with a blood vessel, such as:

  • A tear in a blood vessel wall
  • Weakness in the blood vessel wall
  • Severe narrowing or blockage caused by blood clots or the buildup of fatty deposits

Angiograms may also be used for people with detected changes in the blood vessels that lead to injured or damaged organs. This test can also be used to image a tumor’s blood supply, which can reveal the size of the tumor and help guide treatment.

Specialized Angiograms

  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and computed tomography (CT) angiography are less invasive and easier to perform than conventional angiography. These tests can also be just as accurate as conventional angiography. However, some surgeons prefer to have traditional angiogram images before proceeding with surgery to repair blood vessels.
  • Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) combines the X-ray techniques of angiography with computer technology that improves the image quality. DSA requires less contrast material than standard angiography, but the technique is more sensitive to a patient’s movement.