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Acute Care Advisor 2016.4 Copyright © 2016 RelayHealth, a division of McKesson Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.

What is arteriography?

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Arteriography (also called angiography or catheterization) is a test that uses a small tube called a catheter inserted into a blood vessel, then contrast dye, and X-rays are used to look at your blood vessels. The test may be used to look for abnormal areas in blood vessels, blood clots, tumors, abnormal bleeding, or to check blood flow after an organ transplant. It can also be used to guide your healthcare provider in treating any problems found during the test.

How is arteriography done?

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Before the test:

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  • Your healthcare provider will ask you to sign a consent form for arteriography. The consent form will state the reason you are having the test, what happens during the test, and what you may expect afterward.

  • Your provider may have you prepare for the test by not eating or drinking anything the day of the arteriography.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any food, medicine, or other allergies such as latex.

  • Tell your provider if you have had kidney problems or an allergy to chemicals, such as contrast dye.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking any medicines, including nonprescription drugs, herbal remedies, or recreational or illegal drugs.

  • Tell your provider if you are or think you may be pregnant.

  • You will have a small tube (IV catheter) inserted into a vein in your hand or arm. This will allow medicine to be given directly into your blood and to give you fluids, if needed.

  • You may be asked to remove any jewelry you are wearing.

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During the test:

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  • You may be given a sedative through your IV to help you to relax.

  • You will be given medicine called anesthesia to keep you from feeling pain. Local anesthesia numbs the skin where you will have the procedure.

  • Your provider will insert a small tube (catheter) into your blood vessel and move it through the blood vessels to the area to be tested. X-rays may be taken to make sure the catheter is in the proper place.

  • Contrast dye will be injected into the IV in your vein. This may cause you to feel suddenly very warm or have a taste of metal in your mouth.

  • X-rays will be taken as the contrast dye moves through your veins. This will allow your doctor to see any abnormal areas in blood vessels, blood clots, tumors, abnormal bleeding, or how the blood flows through your blood vessels.

  • Your blood oxygen level may be monitored by a sensor that is attached to your finger or earlobe.

  • A cardiac (heart) monitor will be used to keep track of your heart rate and rhythm.

  • The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

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