Peripheral Vascular Angiography

Why is the doctor performing this test?

To evaluate the presence of plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) in the peripheral arteries--meaning the arteries to the lower abdomen, kidneys, arms, legs, and feet. Plaque build-up in the peripheral arteries causes pain, especially in the legs with walking (called claudication).

What is the test?

Peripheral vascular angiography is an invasive diagnostic test using a catheter to inject dye (contrast medium) into peripheral arteries. X-rays are taken of the dye within the arteries, allowing clear visualization of the blood flow inside the artery where peripheral vascular disease occurs. To access the affected artery, the doctor will thread a catheter to the damaged artery. He or she will access the site by puncturing the groin (through the femoral artery) or the arm (through the radial or brachial artery).

Where is the test performed?

In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab or the Interventional Radiology Suite.

How long does this test take?

Peripheral vascular angiography takes about an hour.