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
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.
A blocked or narrowing in a
pulmonary artery may mean that a fat deposit or clot is reducing blood flow
to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
Blood vessels that are not in
their normal position may mean that a tumor or other growth is pushing
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
There is an abnormal vessel or
blockage between vessels in the lung.
There is abnormal branching of
blood vessels present since birth (congenital).
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Being pregnant. An angiogram is not usually
done during pregnancy because the radiation could damage the developing baby
Having a blocked blood vessel or another blood vessel
an abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor will talk to you about this.
What To Think About
A computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) or a
magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) may be an option
instead of an angiogram. Each of these tests is less invasive than a standard
angiogram. Some MRA tests and all CTA tests require an injection of dye. A CTA
also involves radiation exposure. For more information, see the topics
Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) and
CT Scan of the Body. Some doctors may want results
from a standard angiogram before doing surgery to treat a damaged or abnormal
For people with kidney problems,
dehydration, steps are taken to prevent kidney damage.
Less dye may be used or more fluids may be given before, during, and after the
test. If you have a history of kidney problems, other blood tests (creatinine,
blood urea nitrogen) may be done before an angiogram to make sure that your
kidneys are working well. For more information, see the topics
Creatinine and Creatinine Clearance and
Blood Urea Nitrogen.
In rare cases,
surgery may be needed to repair a hole in the blood vessel where the catheter
was placed. There is also a substance that can be used to
help plug the hole in the vessel and stop the bleeding. The substance used to
plug the hole in the vessel is normally absorbed by the body over several