A contrast angiogram is a diagnostic test that produces an X-ray movie of the blood vessels and the blood flowing through them. It is considered the “gold standard” test for diagnosing artery disease and determining how widespread and severe the narrowing or blockages are.
Unlike other imaging tests used to diagnose PAD, a contrast angiogram requires entering the body. To perform the test, a long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery in your groin or arm and guided to the area to be studied. The catheter is used to inject a dye into the blood vessels, and the dye is filmed by an X-ray camera, producing an angiogram—an X-ray movie of your vessels as the blood moves through them.
- Contrast angiograms are used to investigate many types of artery disease, including:
- PAD in the legs
- Kidney artery disease
- Carotid (neck) artery disease