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Blood vessels don’t show up clearly on a normal X-ray, so a special dye needs to be injected into your blood first.
This highlights your blood vessels, allowing your doctor to spot any problems.
The X-ray images created during angiography are called “angiograms”.
Why angiograms are used
Angiography is used to check the health of your blood vessels and how blood flows through them.
It can be used to help diagnose or investigate a number of problems affecting the blood vessels, including:
- atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), which could mean you’re at risk of having a stroke or heart attack
- peripheral arterial disease (reduced blood supply to the leg muscles)
- a brain aneurysm (a bulge in a blood vessel in your brain)
- angina (chest pain that occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is restricted)
- blood clots or a pulmonary embolism (a blockage in the artery supplying your lungs)
- a blockage in the blood supply to your kidneys
Angiography may also be used to help plan treatment for some of these conditions.