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Angiography is the x-ray study of blood vessels. It consists of using a radiopaque substance, or dyes in order to make blood vessels visible under X ray.

When do we use it?

Angiography is used for:

  • Detection of abnormalities or blockages in blood vessels (called occlusions) throughout the circulatory system and in some organs.
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diagnosis of heart diseases
  • Evaluation of kidney functions and detection of kidney cysts or tumors
  • Detection of aneurysm (an abnormal bulge of an artery that can rupture leading to hemorrhage)
  • Detection of tumor, blood clot, or arteriovenous malformations (abnormalities of arteries tangles and veins) in the brain
  • Diagnosis of problems with the eye retina
  • Accurate "map" of the heart prior to open-heart surgery, or of the brain prior to neurosurgery



  • Angiography takes place in the x-ray fluoroscopy suite, and for most types of angiograms, the   patient's vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure.
  • Angiography requires the injection of a contrast dye that makes the blood vessels visible to x ray.  The dye is injected through a procedure known as arterial puncture, which is usually made in the groin area. Throughout the dye injection procedure, x-ray pictures and/or fluoroscopic pictures (or moving x rays) will be taken. Because of the high pressure of arterial blood flow, the dye will dissipate through the patient's system quickly, so pictures must be taken in rapid succession.
  • Once the x rays are complete, the catheter is slowly and carefully removed from the patient.  Pressure is applied to the site with a sandbag or other weight for 10-20 minutes in order for clotting to take place and the arterial puncture to reseal itself.



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