During an arteriogram, contrast (dye) is injected into arteries to assess blood supply and arterial patency (openness). An arteriogram is performed using X-rays with catheters. A catheter is a thin plastic tube inserted into an artery through a small incision in the skin. Once the catheter is guided to the area being examined, a contrast material is injected through the tube and images are captured using a small dose X-rays.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.

Most patients are admitted through the Admissions and Testing Unit about two hours prior to test time. After you check in, Admissions and Testing staff will prep you for your exam, including checking vital signs, taking any needed laboratory tests, and starting an IV if necessary.

If you are taking any blood thinners, diabetic medication or are allergic to contrast, please notify us when your exam is scheduled, as there are special instructions that go along with these conditions.

What can I expect during the exam?

The exam is conducted by an interventional radiologist, a specially trained interventional radiology technologist and a nurse.

You will lie on the exam table, and a nurse will place you on a monitor. Some patients will receive sedation, depending on the procedure and patient condition. The access point to your vascular system will be shaved, sterilely cleaned and draped.

A flexible catheter is inserted into an artery, usually your femoral artery (near your groin) or your jugular artery (in your neck). Once the catheter is placed, the contrast (dye) will be injected to visualize the blood vessels. You may be asked to hold your breath during this part of the procedure, and may experience a warm flush or metallic taste in your mouth.

At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed, and pressure will be applied to the access point to stop any bleeding.

The procedure will take approximately one to two hours.

What can I expect after the exam?

After the procedure, you will return to the Admission and Testing unit for bed rest and monitoring for approximately two hours.

Please arrange for a ride home after you are discharged, as you cannot drive for 24 hours after the exam.

If the area that was imaged becomes inflamed, starts bleeding or becomes cold or weak, please contact us at 217-788-3200. At the time of your exam, you will be provided with detailed instructions.