What is it?
A peripheral angiogram is a broad term used to describe a study of the peripheral circulation.
This test is usually performed when the doctor suspects that there may be a significant blockage in one or more of the arteries of the peripheral circulation. Specifically, the arteries of the aorta (Aortogram), renal arteries (Renal Angiogram), legs (Lower Extremity Angiogram), or arms (Upper Extremity or Subclavian Angiograms) may be studied.
It is used to diagnose and treat Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and may also diagnose thoracic (TAA)and adominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).
HOW IS IT DONE?
During the procedure, the patient lies on an X-ray table.
An IV is inserted that will deliver fluids and medications such as sedatives.
A local anesthetic is injected into the place on the groin or arm where the catheter will be inserted.
A small incision is made at the entry site in the groin or arm and a small tube called a sheath is inserted into the artery.
The catheter is inserted through the sheath and carefully threaded to the peripheral arteries being studied. Once it is in place, the contrast dye is injected through the catheter.
The contrast material makes the peripheral arteries highly visible on the X-ray. The cardiologist will take several images of the arteries and identify places where the blood flow is restricted.
Depending on what is found during the angiogram, peripheral intervention procedures such as angioplasty may also be performed. Then the catheter is removed.
AFTER THE TEST
Patient is taken to a recovery area for observation.
If the catheter was inserted through the groin, it involves lying flat for several hours to prevent bleeding.
Patient may be able to go home the same day as the procedure or may be required to stay overnight.
The cardiologist will give instructions on when to start taking regular medications again and when to resume other activities.