Angiography

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Angiography at KRMC

Angiography in the broadest meaning is looking at blood vessels, both arteries, and veins. This lesson examines angiography performed in a hospital procedure lab and explains common complications.

Have you ever known someone who had to go in for a test after having chest pain, horrible cramping leg pain coupled with a lack of pulses in the feet, or mini-stroke type symptoms? Or perhaps someone you know was having trouble breathing and was suspected to have a lung clot? Any of these scenarios could be the reason for having angiography done.

Angiography is the test where dyes that can be seen by x-rays are injected into blood vessels (either arteries or veins) and examined using x-rays. The resulting pictures are called angiograms. Angiograms are used to diagnose narrowing or blockages in vessels anywhere in the body, from head to toe, including:

  • The arteries feeding the heart muscle
  • The arteries going to the brain
  • The arteries feeding the arms and legs
  • The arteries feeding the kidneys
  • All of the vessels going to and coming from the lungs

In addition to finding narrowing and blockages, angiography can also be used to find places where the arteries or veins are bulging or ballooning. These spots are called aneurysms and if not treated, can cause death when they rupture.

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