The chance of any major problem from an
angiogram is very small, but some problems can occur. In most cases, the
problems occur within 2 hours after the test when you are in the recovery room.
If the problem occurs during the angiogram, the test may not be completed. You
may need urgent treatment that could include surgery.
There is a chance of an
allergic reaction to the iodine dye. The reaction can
be mild (itching, rash) or severe (trouble breathing or sudden shock). Most
reactions can be treated with medicines. Be sure to tell your doctor if you
asthma, or iodine allergy or food allergies.
There is a small chance that the catheter may damage a blood
vessel or dislodge a piece of clotted blood or fat from the vessel wall. The
clot or fat can block blood flow to the brain, arm, leg, or intestine
Bleeding from the needle site may occur. Also, a blood
clot can form where the catheter was inserted. This may cause some blockage of
the blood flow in the arm or leg.
The iodine dye used for the test can cause water loss or direct
damage to the kidneys. This is a special concern for people who have kidney
diabetes, or who are
dehydrated. Special measures are used during the test
to prevent problems for people who need an angiogram and have these
There is always a small chance of damage to cells or
tissue from being exposed to any radiation, even the low level used for this
An angiogram is an
X-ray test that uses a special dye and camera (fluoroscopy) to take pictures of the blood flow in an
artery (such as the
aorta) or a vein (such as the vena cava). Your doctor
may tell you some results right after the test. Full results are usually ready the same day.
blood vessels are normal in shape, size, location, and number.
dye flows evenly through the blood vessels.
narrowing, blockage, bulging, or other problem of the blood vessels is
vessels that are not in their normal position may mean that a tumor or
other growth is pushing against them.
narrow spot in an artery may mean that a fat deposit, calcium deposit, or
clot is reducing blood flow through the blood vessel.
bulge in a blood vessel may mean a weakness in the blood vessel wall (aneurysm).
Dye that leaks out of a blood vessel may mean a
hole in the blood vessel.
is abnormal branching of blood vessels present since birth
abnormal pattern of blood vessels may mean that a tumor is