MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center
Arterial studies or tests will be performed to show
detailed images of your arteries .
- Spiral computed tomography (CT) scan: This test involves a rapid series of x rays
taken in a spiral pattern around your body. A computer transforms the x ray
data into three-dimensional images of your blood vessels.
- Angiography: In
these tests, your physician inserts a catheter into one of your arteries. Your
physician then injects a dye called contrast through the catheter and takes x
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
What can I expect during Angiography?
• You can wear whatever you like to the hospital. You will wear a
hospital gown during the procedure.
• If you normally wear dentures, glasses or a hearing assist device,
plan to wear them during the procedure to assist with communication.
• Your doctor or nurse will give you specific instructions about what
you can and cannot eat or drink before the procedure.
• Ask your doctor what medications should be taken on the day of your
test. You may be told to stop certain medications, such as Coumadin (warfarin, a
• If you have diabetes, ask your physician how to adjust your
medications the day of your test.
• Tell your doctor and/or nurses if you are allergic to anything,
especially iodine, shellfish, x-ray dye, penicillin-type medications, latex or
rubber products (such as rubber gloves or balloons).
• Please bring a list of your medications (including over-the-counter)
and dosages. When you arrive for your appointment, please tell your nurse if you
are taking Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidogrel), diuretics (water pill) or
• You will be given a hospital gown to wear. A nurse will start an
intravenous (IV) line in your arm so that medications and fluids can be
administered during the procedure.
• Sterile drapes are used to cover the site and help prevent infection.
It is important that you keep your arms and hands down at your sides, under the
• Electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) will be placed on your chest.
The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (ECG), which
monitors your heart rate and rhythm.
• In some cases, a catheter may be placed into your bladder during the
• As the procedure begins, you will receive a sedative and a regional
• Your vascular surgery team will clean your skin and shave hair around
the insertion points to help decrease your chances of infection.
• Your vascular surgeon will then insert an
IV into the skin above the femoral artery in your groin.
• Your vascular surgeon threads a guide wire into your femoral artery.
Because you have no nerve endings inside your arteries, you will not feel the
wires or catheters as they move through your body. You may feel a slight
pressure or a sensation of mild tugging during this insertion.
• Using x rays that appear as moving images on a screen, your vascular
surgeon inserts a catheter over the guidewire. You will lie on a special table
and you will be able to watch your procedure on the monitors.
Iodine based dye is injected through the IV to image the arteries under
x-ray. Please tell the doctor or nurses if you feel:
- itching, tightness in the throat (allergic
- chest discomfort
- any other symptoms
After the procedure:
• The catheters and sheath are removed.
• A sterile dressing will be placed on the angio site to protect it from
infection. The nurse will check your bandage regularly, but call your nurse if
you think you are bleeding (have a wet, warm sensation) or if your toes begin to
tingle or feel numb.
• You will need to drink plenty of liquids to clear the contrast
material from your body. You may feel the need to urinate more frequently. This
is normal. If you are on bed rest, you will need to use a bedpan or urinal.
• Usually you will be permitted to eat and perhaps walk. You will
not be able to drive or lift anything over 25 lbs. for several days.