What is an arteriogram?

An arteriogram is an X-ray imaging test to see whether blood vessels (arteries) are narrowed, blocked, enlarged or malformed. This procedure is also called an angiogram.

How is an arteriogram performed?

The physician inserts a thin tube called a catheter into the body through an artery, most often in the groin area (upper leg). The doctor can move the catheter into other arteries to look at them. For the X-ray images, the doctor injects dye, called contrast, through the catheter into the artery. With the contrast, the doctor can see the arteries on live X-ray (fluoroscopy) and take images.  After the catheter is removed, a bandage is applied to the catheter insertion site.

Your child will be protected by an X-ray shield during the procedure.

Will my child be awake during the procedure?

No. We will give either IV sedation or general anesthesia so that your child is asleep.

How long does the procedure take?

This procedure generally takes one to three hours.

Will my child feel any pain?

Some children experience a warming sensation from the contrast dye. Some may feel mild discomfort around the catheter insertion site for several days after the procedure.

What are the risks of arteriogram?

The procedure is considered low risk. However, potential complications include:

  • tenderness, bruising or swelling where the catheter was inserted
  • pain, numbness or coolness in the arm or leg
  • injury to the blood vessels
  • blood clots
  • stroke
  • allergic reaction to X-ray dye (contrast reaction)
  • reduced kidney function

What happens after the procedure?

Your child will be monitored for four to six hours in the recovery area. It is very important that your child keep the arm or leg that was punctured straight and still during that time. This will minimize the risk of bleeding at the site.

When can I remove the bandage?

The bandage must stay dry and in place for 48 hours. Your child shouldn’t take a bath or shower during that time. After 48 hours, you may remove the gauze and clear bandage. If your child has Steri-Strips® (white strips), do not remove them. If the Steri-Strips haven’t fallen off after seven days, you may remove them at that time.

When can my child bathe?

While the bandage is still on, you may sponge bathe your child, taking care to keep the bandage dry and in place. After 48 hours, your child can resume bathing as usual. However, if your child has Steri-Strips, do not submerge the site in water (bath or pool) until they have fallen off.

Are there any activity restrictions?

Your child can resume activity such as school or day care. However, you should limit your child’s physical activity and particularly avoid contact sports such as football or rough playing for one week.

Contact us immediately if your child experiences any of the following:

  • fever higher than 101° Fahrenheit
  • increased pain, swelling or bruising at the groin site
  • change in color or temperature of the affected extremity
  • numbness, swelling or pain in the affected extremity

Call Interventional Radiology
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday,
at 215-590-7000. At the first prompt push 1 and at the second prompt push 2.

At all other times, call 215-590-1000 and ask to speak to the interventional radiologist on call.

Next Steps