Arteriogram: Types and Risks


An arteriogram is a procedure that produces an image of your arteries. During the procedure, your doctor will use contrast material, or dye, and X-rays to observe the flow of blood through your arteries and note any blockages. This procedure, also known as an angiogram, can be done on many different parts of your body. The terms “arteriogram” and “angiogram” (and the related “arteriography” and “angiography”) aren’t specific to a particular part of the body. These terms simply refer to a particular method of observing your arteries. The words preceding “arteriogram” let you know which part of the body will be involved in the test. For example, an aortic arteriogram observes the blood flow through the aorta, which is the main artery in your body.

Types of arteriograms

Arteriograms can be used in many areas of the body. Some of the more common types are:

  • aortic angiography (aorta)
  • cerebral angiography (brain)
  • coronary angiography (heart)
  • extremity arteriography (extremities: arms, legs, hands, and feet)
  • fluorescein angiography (parts of the eye: the retina and choroid)
  • pulmonary angiography (lungs)
  • renal arteriography (kidneys)


General risks of an arteriogram include:

  • pain
  • bleeding
  • infection at the place where the catheter was inserted
  • blood clots
  • damage to blood vessels

Other risks include an allergic reaction to the dye or kidney damage from the dye used. Some may also experience blood clots or damage to blood vessels.

Specific types of arteriograms may carry additional risks. Although rare, a coronary arteriography might lead to low blood pressure, a stroke, or a heart attack. According to the NIH, serious complications from a coronary angiography occur in 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000 cases.

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