Why is the doctor performing this test?

To evaluate the size, shape, structure, and anatomy of the aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the body, carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to the entire body. An Aortagram is particularly useful in evaluating aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm.

What is the test?

An Aortagram is an invasive diagnostic test using a catheter to inject dye (contrast medium) into the aorta. X-rays are taken of the dye as it travels within the aorta, allowing clear visualization of blood flow. This way, any structural abnormalities of the aorta will be accurately seen.

Where is the test performed?

In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and can be done in conjunction with a peripheral angiogram or other cardiac studies.

How long does this test take?

An Aortagram usually takes about an hour.