Ask an Inova expert about angiography - Hong Lim, MDAngiography, also known as arteriography, is a type of X-ray study to examine the arteries and veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems.

Angiography uses X-rays and a contrast agent or X-ray dye. Depending on the blood vessel being examined, a small catheter is inserted in an artery located in the groin or arm. It is then threaded over a small wire into the blood vessel to be studied. A contrast agent is injected through catheter into the blood vessel so that the inside of the blood vessel and its branches are visible with X-rays. There are different types of contrast agents that can be injected including iodine agents and carbon dioxide.

Endovascular specialists may need to perform an arteriogram to diagnose blockages or areas of narrowing in the blood vessels, malformed blood vessels or areas of abnormal blood supply. Once the area of abnormality is identified, the endovascular specialist may be able to treat the abnormal blood vessel. A blockage or narrowing is usually treated with angioplasty or a stent. Each angiogram is tailored to each patient and to the organs of concern – for example, legs for peripheral arterial disease, kidneys for hypertension or the heart for cardiac disease.

To schedule an angiogram or to find out more about this diagnostic test, call Inova Vein and Vascular in Gainesville, 703-468-2600.


Ask an Expert

- Featuring Hong Lim, MD

Q:
How are angiograms helpful to patients dealing with vascular problems?

A:
An endovascular specialist can perform an angiogram to diagnose blockages or areas of narrowing in the blood vessels. Other problems identified can include malformed blood vessels or problems with blood supply.

Once the abnormality is identified, the endovascular specialist may use minimally invasive options to treat the problem. A blockage or narrowing is usually treated with angioplasty or a stent.