Diagnostic Angiography

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Diagnostic Angiography (or Arteriography) at UCLA

In This Section

What is a Diagnostic Angiography?

An arteriogram or angiogram is a study of the blood vessels. This is done in a special room, under X-ray guidance.

When is this procedure used and how does it work?

After appropriate sedation and local anesthetic, a small tube (catheter) is inserted, usually in the artery at the groin (femoral artery). This small tube is guided under the video x-ray to the arteries of interest. A fluid which is dense on x-rays, called contrast, is injected through the tube to fill the vessels and visualize the anatomy. From this information, the diagnosis of the various disorders and injuries to the blood vessels can be made.

What are some other uses of this procedure?

Endovascular treatment (embolization and revascularization) of blood vessel disorders such as aneurysms, malformations, fistulae, stenoses, and others is done in the same manner of access, but with the addition of even smaller catheters (microcatheters) or other devices appropriate for the specific problem.

Diagnostic Angiography CSC rate reporting

UCLA is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) and as such is required to collect and report our statistics for diagnostic angiography. The CSC target complication rate and the UCLA rates of complications are listed below:

Comprehensive Stroke Center Guidelines:

  1. Diagnostic cerebral angiography: periprocedural stroke and death rates for the last 12 months.
                    CSC Target: <1%
                    UCLA rate: 0.2%
  2. Diagnostic cerebral angiography: aggregate serious complication rate for last 12 months.
                    CSC Target: <2%
                    UCLA rate: 0.6%