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Angiography is an X-ray exam of the arteries or veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems.

Your CiC physician performs this X-ray procedure for various conditions or diagnoses. During the angiogram, the doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the artery through a small nick in the skin about the size of the tip of a pencil. A liquid called Contrast (X-ray dye) is injected to make the blood vessels visible on the X-ray.

One of the more 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. In many cases, your CiC physician can treat a blocked blood vessel without surgery at the same time the angiogram is performed.

Some other reasons for performing an angiogram

  • aneurysms — an area of a blood vessel that bulges or balloons out
  • cerebral vascular disease, such as stroke or bleeding in the brain
  • blood vessel malformations
  • to diagnose problems not resolved by other tests. Angiograms are sometimes used by surgeons to plan an operation or choose the best surgical procedure.