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Aortic angiography

Angiography - aorta; Aortography; Abdominal aorta angiogram; Aortic arteriogram; Aneurysm - aortic arteriogram

Aortic angiography is a procedure that uses a special dye and x-rays to see how blood flows through the aorta. The aorta is the major artery. It carries blood out of the heart, and through your abdomen or belly.

Angiography uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.

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Cardiac arteriogram

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How the Test is Performed

This test is done at a hospital. Before the test starts, you will be given a mild sedative to help you relax.

After the x-rays or treatments are finished, the catheter is removed. Pressure is applied to the puncture site for 20 to 45 minutes to stop the bleeding. After that time, the area is checked and a tight bandage is applied. The leg is most often kept straight for another 6 hours after the procedure.

How to Prepare for the Test

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6 to 8 hours before the test.

You will wear a hospital gown and sign a consent form for the procedure. Remove jewelry from the area being studied.

Tell your health care provider:

You will be awake during the test. You may feel a sting as the numbing medicine is given and some pressure as the catheter is inserted. You may feel a warm flushing when the contrast dye flows through the catheter. This is normal and most often goes away in a few seconds.

You may have some discomfort from lying on the hospital table and staying still for a long time.

In most cases, you can resume normal activity the day after the procedure.

Why the Test is Performed

Your provider may ask for this test if there are signs or symptoms of a problem with the aorta or its branches, including:

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results may be due to:

Risks

Risks for aortic angiography include:

Considerations

This procedure may be done with left heart catheterization to look for coronary artery disease.

Aortic angiography has been mostly replaced by computed tomography (CT) angiography or magnetic resonance (MR) angiography.

Related Information

X-ray
Aortic stenosis
Aortic regurgitation
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Aortic dissection
Magnetic resonance angiography
Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular
Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair - open
Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular - discharge
Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair - open - discharge

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. C. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:266-432.

Fattori R, Lovato L. The thoracic aorta: diagnostic aspects. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, Gillard JH, Schaefer-Prokop CM, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2014:chap 24.

Grant LA, Griffin N. The aorta. In: Grant LA, Griffin N, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology Essentials. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 2.4.

Jackson JE, Meaney JFM. Angiography: principles, techniques and complications. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, Gillard JH, Schaefer-Prokop CM, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2014:chap 84.

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Review Date: 10/23/2018  

Reviewed By: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christus Highland Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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