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Angiogram of the Lung

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).

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 (fetus).
  • Having a blocked blood vessel or another blood vessel problem.
  • Having high blood pressure in the blood vessels that carry blood to the lungs (pulmonary hypertension).
  • Not being able to lie still during the test.
  • Having an abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor will talk to you about this.

What To Think About

  • A computed tomography angiogram (CTA) 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. Some doctors may want results from a standard angiogram before doing surgery to treat a damaged or abnormal blood vessel.
  • For people with kidney problems, diabetes, or 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.
  • 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 months.

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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