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Angiogram of the Lung

How It Feels

You may feel a brief sting or pinch from the numbing medicine. Most people do not have pain when the catheter is in the blood vessel.

You may feel pressure in the blood vessel as the catheter is moved. Let your doctor know if you are having pain.

You will probably feel some warmth when the dye is put in. This feeling lasts only a few seconds. For some people, the feeling of heat is strong and for others it is very mild.

You may feel a need to cough but try to keep holding your breath until you are told to breathe.

You may have a headache, flushing of the face, or a salty or metallic taste in your mouth after the dye is used. These feelings do not last long. Some people may feel sick to their stomach or may vomit, but this is not common.

After the test, you may have some tenderness and bruising at the site where the catheter was inserted.

You can drink extra fluids to pass the dye from your body unless your doctor has told you not to.

Risks

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 have hay fever, asthma, or iodine allergy or food allergies.
  • 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 from 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 problems, diabetes, or who are dehydrated. Special measures are used during the test to prevent problems for people who need an angiogram and have these conditions.
  • 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 test.

Results

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. Your doctor may tell you some results right after the test. Full results are usually ready the same day.

Angiogram of the lung

Normal:

The dye flows evenly through the blood vessels.

No narrowing, blockage, bulging, or other problem of the blood vessels is seen. The pulmonary artery pressures are normal.

Abnormal:

Blood vessels that are not in their normal position may mean that a tumor or other growth is pushing against them.

A 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 there is a hole in the blood vessel.

There is an abnormal vessel or blockage between vessels in the lung.

There is abnormal branching of blood vessels present since birth (congenital).

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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