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Last Updated: Jan 30, 2020
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Angiography - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

About Types Procedure Angiography vs Angioplasty Side effects Recovery Cost Results Precautions Alternatives

What is an angiography?

An angiography, also known as an angiogram, is an X-Ray test that makes use of a dye along with a camera in order to take clear pictures of the circulation of blood inside a vein or an artery. This procedure can be performed for the veins or the arteries of the chest, back, arms, head, belly and the legs.

The most common angiograms include pulmonary angiogram (of the chest), coronary angiogram (of the heart), cerebral angiogram (of the brain), carotid angiogram (of the neck and the head), peripheral angiogram (of the arms and legs) and aortogram (of the aorta).

An angiogram is used to detect aneurysms (bulge within the blood vessels). Any blockage or narrowing of the blood vessels that affect proper blood flow can also be detected by this procedure. The possibility of a coronary artery disorder being present, as well as its condition, can be determined by this technique.

What are the types of angiography?

These are the types of angiography:

  • Computed tomography angiography: In this, a CT scanner is used to get the detailed condition of the blood vessels. In this doctors also uses X-ray catheters, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Coronary angiography: In this special dye is used and X-ray is done to see how the blood is flowing through the arteries present in your heart.
  • Digital subtraction angiography: It is a fluoroscopy technique in which the use of interventional radiology is done in order to get clear visualization in the boney or dense tissues.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography: In this, your body scan is done with the help of radio waves, magnetic fields and computer to take a proper view of the body's blood vessels.
  • Pulmonary angiogram: In this, the blood vessels of the lungs are checked and a dye is used for getting a clear view.
  • Radionuclide Angiogram: This is the kind of nuclear medicine procedure. This is done for examining the tissues properly.
  • Renal angiogram: This is a kind of image testing in which kidney vessels are looked into.

How is an angiogram performed?

  • Computed tomography angiography:

    At first, a dye will be injected into your nerves through IV. Then you will be told to lie down straight. You will also be told to hold your breath for a short period of time in order to get the proper pictures. The images will be examined by the doctor and then the further procedure will be done.

  • Coronary angiography:

    This is done under the expert supervision in a specific laboratory and it is done with the cardiac catheterization procedure. A small is made by the doctor in the blood vessel of the arm, upper thigh or groin and a catheter tube are inserted into the blood vessel. After this X-ray picture by the doctor will be taken which helps in the placement of the catheter in your coronary artery. After which a dye will be inserted through that artery in order to highlight the blockage and then X-ray is taken to go for further treatment.

  • Digital subtraction angiography:

    In this, a catheter is inserted into the veins artery of the leg, and then it is passed into the blood vessel. After this contrast dye is injected into the catheter to get a proper image of the blood vessels.

  • Magnetic resonance angiography:

    In this, you are made to lie then and then pass through a magnetic resonance image scanner which a large tube-like tunnel. Sometimes a special kind of dye is injected in the bloodstream to get a clear view of the veins and blood vessels.

  • Pulmonary angiogram:

    In this dye is injected in your blood vessels through your arm or groin. Dye helps in getting a clear X-ray thus enable your doctor to have a clear view of blood vessels from the lungs.

  • Radionuclide Angiogram:

    In this radionuclide is injected in the arm vein to see the progress of the blood cells and the heart is traced through the scanner. This RNA procedure helps the doctor check the functioning of the heart.

  • Renal angiogram:

    In this image testing of the blood vessels of the kidney is done. AN x-ray is done by injecting a special dye into the blood vessels.

When angiography is needed?

If there is any serious issue with the coronary artery or the coronary artery is blocked then there is the need of angiography to see what is the exact problem. The doctors check the patient and prescribe for the exact angiography which needs to be done.

What dye is used for an angiogram?

The fluorescent dye is used for an angiogram which is injected into the blood as it helps in highlighting the blood vessels which are present at the back of the eye thus it becomes easier to take a photograph of them.

What are angiography and angioplasty?

Angiography: It is an imaging technique is used for the visualization of blood vessels, organs of the body, and particularly arteries, veins, and the heart chambers.

Angioplasty: This is done to restore the procedure of blood flow through the artery. In this, the blood vessels of the heart are checked if it is blocked or not. This procedure is basically done to restore the blood flow through the artery.

Are there any side effects?

Similar to any other procedure performed on the blood vessels and the heart, a coronary angiogram or other angiograms as well have their share of risks and complications. Though major risks are less, certain potential complications include:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attacks
  • Any injury to the arteries, especially the artery that has been catheterized
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heart-beats)
  • Allergies caused due to the dye or other medications used during the procedure
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Persistent bleeding
  • Infections

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Keeping the patient under observation to monitor the person’s temperature, blood pressure, feeling of nausea and most importantly the proper functioning of the body.

How long does it take to recover?

You should take adequate rest and avoid any sort of strenuous activity for 24 hours post-angiogram, following which you can start with your daily routine. However, if your doctor has advised otherwise, you should follow it to recover completely and quickly.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of angiography or an angiogram in India typically ranges between Rs.6000- Rs.55,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

An angiography is a testing procedure that makes use of a dye along with a camera to check for defects in the arteries or the veins. It isn’t a surgical procedure. It only lays down the platform for angioplasty which, in turn, is the surgery that is performed. Hence, there are no results as such associated with angiography.

What are the precautions to be taken before angiography?

These are the precautions which need to be taken before angiography:

  • Do not eat or drink before going for the angiography.
  • Do not take any medication before angiography without consulting your doctor.
  • If you are diabetic then you must consult the doctor before taking insulin.
  • Empty your bladder before going for the final procedure.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

An angiogram or angiography is usually recommended by the doctor only if other less invasive testing techniques have been exhausted or haven’t been able to come up with concrete results. Certain less invasive alternatives include a heart stress test, ECG (Electrocardiography) and echocardiography.

Popular Questions & Answers

I was admitted to hospital a week ago with symptom of ghabrahat from last 2 days. On several check up in hospital, I am diagnosed non diabetic, non hypertensive, non smoker. My coronary angiography was done which shows single vessel disease for which stress thallium was done and advised medical therapy. Discharge summary says final diagnosis - cad- actuate coronary syndrome, nsr- no ccf, b12 deficiency. cholesterol total - 207, triglycerides - 151, hdl - 45, ldl - 136, vldl - 26, hdl ratio - 4.60.coronary angiography report says - left main, lad,lcx are normal and rca - dominant, 80% distal stenosis, jerky movement at lesion site. Stress myocardial perfusion imaging shows global resting lvef - 56 +- 5 % with impression adequate stress and good effort tolerance, no scan evidence of stress induced reversible ischemia noted jn lv myocardium, normal resting systolic lv function with no rwma as estimated by quantitative gated spect. Stress total severity score - 23, rest total severity score - 52, reversibility total severity score - ceruvin a 75 mg, tab rosuvas 20 mg, tab me 12 was advised. I want to know what medical procedure should we continue? Should we go for angioplasty/stent or should continue with medicine to clear the blockages? If you want I can send the report to you.

Cardiologist, Gurgaon
Hello Mr. lybrate-user, your stress thallium report says "no scan evidence of stress-induced reversible ischemia" -,it means even under stress there was no compromise in the blood supply in the area supplied by the blocked artery (rca 80%) so no a...

HI, I am 50 years. ANGIOPLASTY 8 month back 90 mid LAD 70 proc LCX 60 PROX RCA 80 MID RCA PCI LAD 2DES RCA 1DES ON brilinta ASPIRIN atorva NEBICARD METFORMIN TELMA GETS PALPITATIONS AND BREATHLESSNESS ON WALKING ONCE A MONTH TOTAL HAPPENED 4 times after angio recent stress says borderline positive for inducible isch is anything to worry should I go for CT ANGIO.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in EP
Cardiologist, Delhi
Avoid CT Angio, it not very accurate after stent. Some breathlessness may be side effect of brilinta. It cannot be stopped. Ask you Dr. about substitutes. Too much diet restrictions also causes palpitations. What is your present diet?
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