Diagnostic Angiograms:

  • Abdominal Aortogram with Run-Off
  • Cerebral Angiogram
  • Carotid Angiogram
  • Mesenteric Angiogram
  • Renal Angiogram


  • Upper Extremity Venogram
  • Lower Extremity Venogram
  • Vein Mapping

IR Lab 2

Angiography and Venography are a specialized X-ray exam of the arteries and veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems.

One of the most common reasons for angiograms is to see if there is a blockage or narrowing in a blood vessel that may interfere with the normal flow of blood through the body.

Venography uses an injection of contrast material to show how blood flows through your veins. Your doctor may use it to find blood clots, identify a vein for use in a bypass procedure or dialysis access, or to assess varicose veins before surgery.

Catheter angiography images arterial blood vessels to diagnose if they are diseased, narrowed, enlarged, or altogether blocked. The procedure commonly focuses on the areas of the abdomen, head, neck, and legs.

Angiorams are useful in the event that a patient exhibits certain symptoms:

  • Aneurysm – enlarged arteries.
  • Deep vein thrombosis – blood clots in the veins, specifically in the arm and leg regions.
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – narrowed, blocked arteries.
  • Renal artery stenosis – narrowed, blocked arteries that lead into the kidney.

Venograms are done with a special dye known as a contrast agent is injected into the veins. The dye has to be injected via a catheter to enter the blood vessels and makes an artery or vein visible on the X-ray.

A venogram is commonly used to:

  • assess the status of a vein or system of veins
  • find blood clots within the veins
  • assess varicose veins before surgery
  • find a vein in good condition to use for a bypass procedure or dialysis access
  • help a physician place an IV or a medical device, such as a stent, in a vein
  • guide treatment of diseased veins.

The procedure is typically performed in an interventional radiology suite, sometimes referred to as a special procedures suite.  Patients are required to lie on a radiographic table, with one or two X-ray tubes, and a television monitor.  Fluoroscopy (a process that converts X-rays into video images) is used to monitor and guide the progress of the procedure.  Patients may be moved into different positions so that X-ray images can be taken of their veins at various angles.

How do I prepare for an Angiogram/Venogram?

First, your vascular surgeon will authorize blood tests to evaluate blood clotting ability and kidney function. Depending on the angiogram or venogram that is required, you may be asked to abstain from food and drink, and avoid the use of anti-blood clotting medications.

What happens during an Angiogram?

A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a small vein in your hand or arm.

A small amount of blood will be drawn before starting the procedure to make sure that your kidneys are working and that your blood will clot normally. A small dose of sedative may be given through the IV line to lessen your anxiety during the procedure.

The area of the groin or arm where the catheter will be inserted is shaved, cleaned, and numbed with local anesthetic. The radiologist will make a small incision (usually a few millimeters) in the skin where the catheter can be inserted into an artery. The catheter is then guided through the arteries to the area to be examined. After the contrast material is injected through the catheter and reaches the blood vessels being studied, several sets of x-rays are taken. Then the catheter is removed and the incision site is closed by applying pressure on the area for approximately 10 to 20 minutes (or by using a special closure device).

When the examination is complete, you may be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.

Your intravenous line will be removed.

A catheter angiogram may be performed in less than an hour; however, it may last several hours.

What happens during a Venogram?

The physician will insert a needle or catheter into a vein to inject the contrast agent. Where that needle is placed depends upon the area of your body where the veins are being evaluated. As the contrast material flows through the veins being examined, several x-rays are taken. You may be moved into different positions so that the x-rays can take pictures of your veins at different angles.

What will I experience during a Venogram?

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

You will feel a slight pin prick when the needle is inserted into your vein for the intravenous line (IV) and when the local anesthetic is injected. The arteries have no sensation. Most of the sensation is at the skin incision site which is numbed using local anesthetic.

As the contrast material passes through your body, you may get a warm feeling.

You may have a metallic taste in your mouth. Your arm or leg may feel like it is getting numb or “falling asleep.” After the test is complete, this feeling will go away.

You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.

When the examination is complete, you may be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.

A venogram takes between 30 and 90 minutes to perform. Fluids will be run through your IV to remove the contrast material from your veins. You will also be instructed to drink a lot of fluids for the next day. After the catheter is removed, a bandage will be placed on the IV site. Then you will be observed for any signs of complications, such as bleeding from the injection site, infection or an allergic reaction.

How long will I be in recovery?

After your procedure, it is important that you lie still in order to prevent bleeding.  Patients are usually monitored for about 4 hours after the procedure.