What Is a Renal Angiogram?

Male kidney anatomy

A renal angiogram, or renal angiography, is a diagnostic test which uses x-ray technology to create an image of the blood vessels within the kidneys. Your cardiologist may recommend a renal angiogram in order to assess your risk for vascular conditions, monitor treatment efficacy, or track the progression of a current condition.

Renal angiograms are used to assess blood flow to the kidneys and can be used to identify several different types of vascular abnormalities. This includes stenosis, vasospasm or spasm of the blood vessels, aneurysms, and blood clots within the blood vessels. Renal angiograms can also be used to show signs of occlusion or blood vessel blockage, high blood pressure in the kidneys, and arteriovenous malformation.

After being positioned on an x-ray table, your cardiologist will insert an IV into your arm or hand and connect you to an EKG monitor using small adhesive electrodes. Once your skin has been cleansed and injected with a local anesthetic, a small needle is inserted into an artery in your groin or elbow. A catheter is then inserted and navigated towards the aorta near the renal arteries using fluoroscopy guidance. Contrast dye is injected to make the blood vessels apparent before a series of x-rays are taken. The catheter is then withdrawn while the insertion site is cleansed and dressed.

The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will be released home after a recovery period. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the remaining contrast dye out of your system and keep yourself hydrated. You will also want to get as much rest as possible and avoid strenuous activities for the first day or two.

Get the information you need regarding renal angiograms and cardiac care by contacting Cardiac Solutions at (623) 876-8816. Our cardiologists serve the Phoenix area and provide quality care to all of our patients.  

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