An angiogram is an X-ray image of the blood vessels. It’s also called an arteriogram. It’s done to look at blood vessels that have problems. A pulmonary angiogram is an angiogram of the blood vessels of the lungs.
The procedure is done with a special contrast dye injected into the body’s blood vessels. This is done in the groin or arm. The dye shows up on X-rays. Fluoroscopy is often used during this test. This is like an X-ray “movie.” This lets your healthcare provider clearly see the vessels that send blood to and from the lungs.
A pulmonary angiogram may be used to:
A pulmonary angiogram can show:
CT angiography (CTA) of the chest is done more often than pulmonary angiogram. A pulmonary angiogram is most often done if there is a clot that needs treatment.
Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to advise a pulmonary angiogram.
All procedures have some risks. The risks of this procedure may include:
Another risk is exposure to radiation. Fluoroscopy uses much more radiation than single X-rays. Talk with your healthcare provider about the amount of radiation used during the procedure and the risks to you. Tests that use radiation increase a person’s risk of cancer in the future.
Your risks may vary depending on your general health and other factors. Ask your healthcare provider which risks apply most to you. Talk with him or her about any concerns you have.
Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you. Ask him or her any questions you have. You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully. Ask questions if anything is not clear.
Tell your healthcare provider if you:
Make sure to:
You may have a blood test before the procedure. This is done to see how long it takes your blood to clot. Your healthcare provider will tell you more. You may also have other kinds of blood tests.
You may have your procedure as an outpatient. This means you go home the same day. Or it may be done as part of a longer stay in the hospital. The way the procedure is done may vary. It depends on your condition and your healthcare provider's methods. In most cases, the procedure will follow this process:
After the procedure, you’ll lie flat in a recovery room for 1 to 2 hours. Your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be watched. The groin or arm puncture site will be checked for bleeding. You will need to keep your leg or arm straight. You will be given pain medicine if needed. You may be able to go home the same day. Or you may need to stay overnight. When it’s time to go home, you’ll need to have someone drive you.
At home, you can go back to your normal diet and activities if instructed by your healthcare provider. Drink plenty of water. This is to help flush the contrast dye from your body. Don’t do strenuous physical activity for a few days. Don’t take a hot bath or shower for a day or two.
Check the puncture site in your groin or arm several times a day. Check for bleeding, pain, swelling, change in color, or change in temperature. A small bruise is normal. A small amount of blood is also normal.
Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the below:
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the procedure.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know: