Angiography and angiogram are the two words very commonly used in context with the heart related problems. And people in general only are aware of this relation. But very few of us really know what angiography is and when it is advised? The following piece is a small attempt to educate every reader on the subject and aid enough to understand the test and its requirements in future.
What is angiography?
Angiography is a type of X ray test in which a special liquid dye is given via an injection to the patient so that the heart arteries are clearly visible during the examination. The normal X-ray technique cannot reveal the blockages in the artery and hence this technique is used. Blood vessel conditions are checked by using angiogram. Other alternatives, like CT scan, MRI scan nuclear scans and ultrasound scans are also often used in place of angiography or angiograms. These treatments are of non invasive type and are mostly used for head, leg, abdomen arteries. But for heart arteries, even now there is no replacement for coronary angiography as angiography is the only method which gives accurate information as per the clinical requirement.
When is angiography advised?
There are many reasons why the cardiologists recommend angiography. Check out some of them given below:
- When the doctors are thinking of conducting a surgery, they may recommend angiography so as to get a clear view of the blood vessels and arteries. This is essential for understanding the severity of blockage or damage to heart and figure out further proceedings.
- Angiography is also suggested if the doctors are speculating formation of aneurysms. These aneurysms are a bulge located on the artery and is caused by the weakening of blood vessel wall. Angiography helps the doctor to confirm their suspicion.
- Angiography or even angiogram is used to get a clear cut picture of the carotid artery and the branches of it that run into head and neck. Whenever, a bleeding problem in brain especially in the cerebrum is suspected, so as to investigate its reason, angiography is recommended. It is also advised to detect the blood supplies of tumor. Angiography helps the doctors decide the necessity of a surgery.
- Sometimes, the heart therapists are concerned about the working of coronary arteries due to certain symptoms. Hence they advise angiography so as to get an accurate view of the coronary arteries supplying heart. This test also reveals whether the coronary arteries have narrowed down or not.
- Angiography is also recommended when there is a problem with leg or kidney arteries. Even the angiography of aorta is advised, which is the largest artery of human body.
- Detection of tumors in the liver and other abnormalities, especially when surgery is being planned is done with the help of angiography.
So, there are innumerable reasons why angiography can be called upon by the doctors. Some reasons can be different from the above mentioned ones or related to them in some aspect. But the main intention of any medico while recommending angiography is to get a clear cut picture of internal arteries and veins, before opting for surgery.
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