Angiogram of the Lung
An angiogram of the lung is an
X-ray test that uses a special dye and camera (fluoroscopy) to take pictures of the blood flow in the
blood vessels of the lung.
During an angiogram, a thin tube called
a catheter is placed into a
femoral blood vessel in the groin (femoral vein) or just above the elbow
(brachial vein). The catheter is guided to the area to be studied. Then an
iodine dye (contrast material) is injected into the vessel to make
the area show clearly on the X-ray pictures. The angiogram pictures can be made
into regular X-ray films or stored as digital pictures in a computer.
A lung (pulmonary) angiogram is used to check the arteries that lead to
the lungs (pulmonary arteries) and the blood vessels in the lungs. It can also
find narrowing or a blockage in a blood vessel that slows or stops blood flow.
See an angiogram image showing the blood flow of the lungs .
Why It Is Done
A lung angiogram is often done to find
pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE is a blockage in the
pulmonary artery that suddenly reduces blood flow to the lungs. A PE is often
caused by a blood clot. It may also be caused by fat particles, air, or a
tumor. A PE can be a very serious condition. A PE may be treated with blood
A lung angiogram may also be done to measure the
pressure in the blood vessels carrying blood to the lungs, to look for lung
problems, or to find other causes of blockage or narrowing of the
How To Prepare
Before an angiogram, tell your doctor
- Are or might be pregnant.
breast-feeding. Use formula (throw out your breast milk) for 1 to 2 days after
the angiogram until the dye has passed from your body. This generally takes 24
- Are allergic to iodine dye used in the
- Have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from any substance, such as the venom
from a bee sting or from eating shellfish.
- Are allergic to any
- Have any bleeding problems or are taking blood-thinning
- Have left
heart block or a
- Have a history of kidney
diabetes, especially if you take metformin (such as
Glucophage) to control your diabetes. The dye used during an angiogram can
cause kidney damage in people who have poor kidney function.
Do not eat or drink for 4 to 8 hours before the angiogram.
You may be asked to not take aspirin, aspirin products, or blood thinners for
several days before the test and for 1 day after the test. If you take these
medicines, talk with your doctor.