Hello, I’m Dr. Shawn Teague, a radiologist at National Jewish Health in Denver. I’d like to talk with you about catheter angiography.
Catheter angiography produces pictures of blood vessels to look for aneurysms, plaques and other abnormalities. It’s also used to help guide repair of blood vessels or prepare for surgery. During the procedure, a thin, hollow plastic tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery or vein. The radiologist guides the catheter to the area being examined and delivers an injection of iodine-rich contrast material. X-ray images are then captured as the material flows through the blood vessels to the various organs of the body.
Catheter angiography provides a level of detail that may not be available with C-T or M-R angiography. Plus, the use of a catheter makes it possible to combine diagnosis and treatment in a single procedure.
If you’re scheduled for a catheter angiogram, there are several things you can do to prepare.
First, discuss any recent illnesses and medical conditions with your doctor. Tell your doctor about all the medications you’re currently taking and whether you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Also, inform your doctor and the x-ray technologist if there is any possibility you might be pregnant.
If sedation is used during the exam, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the procedure. Be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing and leave any jewelry at home.
You may have some concerns about x-ray exams. However, it’s important to consider the benefit to your health. While catheter angiography does use ionizing radiation, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs any risk.
For more information about catheter angiography, visit Radiology Info dot org.