Sarah J. Kerr, BA
An arteriogram is a test allows the arteries to be viewed on an
x-ray. A contrast dye is injected into the arteries to make them visible. The test makes images that can be used to diagnose and treat problems in the arteries.
An arteriogram is done to check the arteries for narrowing, bulging, or blockages. These could be signs of disease.
This test could be done to diagnose conditions such as:
Sometimes, found during the arteriogram may be treated. A clot may be dissolved or
with or without stenting may be done.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
At your appointment before the test, your doctor will likely:
In the days before your procedure, you will need to:
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
You will have an IV placed in your arm to give you medications. These medications will make you feel sleepy and comfortable.
For this procedure, you will have a catheter placed in your groin or elbow so that the contrast dye can be injected. The skin where the catheter will be placed will be cleaned. A tiny cut will be made. A hollow needle will be inserted into the artery. A thin wire will be placed into the artery. The catheter will be threaded over the wire, and the wire will be removed.
The catheter will be used to inject a contrast dye into your artery. The dye may cause you to feel warm or flushed for a few moments. X-rays will be taken to see how the contrast dye is moving through your arteries. You will need to lie still to prevent blurry images.
About 1 hour
Although the procedure is not painful, you may feel:
After the test, the catheter will be removed. The IV will also be removed from your arm.
Immediately following the procedure:
When you return home, be sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions.
Call your doctor if any of these occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Heart Association
RadiologyInfo—Radiological Society of North America
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Angiogram (arteriogram). California Pacific Medical Center website. Available at:
http://www.cpmc.org/learning/documents/ir-angioarterio-ws.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed March 3, 2015.
Angiogram. VascularWeb website. Available at:
http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/angiogram.aspx. Updated January 2011. Accessed March 3, 2015.
MR angiography (MRA). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at:
http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=angiomr. Updated August 27, 2013. Accessed March 3, 2015.
Stroke diagnosis. American Stroke Association website. Available at:
http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/Diagnosis/Diagnosis_UCM_310890_Article.jsp. Updated November 21, 2012. Accessed March 3, 2015.
Last reviewed March 2015 by Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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