What is Peripheral Angiography?

Dr Foram Bhuta

Dr Foram Bhuta

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 10 years of experience

February 3, 2022 Lifestyle Diseases 127 Views

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What is the meaning of Peripheral Angiography?

A type of test using a contrast dye and x-rays to help the doctor find narrow or blocked areas in one or more arteries that supply blood to the feet, legs, hands, or arms (the extremities) is known as peripheral angiography. A peripheral angiography, also known as extremity angiography, can help a doctor in case of surgery done to open a blocked artery.  A peripheral artery is a blood vessel that carries the blood away from the heart, towards the extremities.

Peripheral angiography is usually done in cases of peripheral artery disease, which is a circulatory disorder in which there is a reduced flow of blood to the limbs due to narrowed arteries.

In this article, we will be discussing in detail peripheral angiography.

  • What is the purpose of Peripheral Angiography?
  • What are the causes of abnormal Peripheral Angiography?
  • What are the symptoms indicating the need for a Peripheral Angiography?
  • What is the diagnostic procedure before a Peripheral Angiography?
  • How to prepare for Peripheral Angiography?
  • What is the procedure for Peripheral Angiography?
  • How to care after Peripheral Angiography?
  • What are the risks of Peripheral Angiography?
  • What is the cost of Peripheral Angiography in India?

What is the purpose of Peripheral Angiography?

Peripheral angiography is done for the diagnosis of:

  • Blocked or narrow blood vessels in the hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Swelling in the blood vessels
  • Blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis)
  • Bleeding from the blood vessels

Peripheral angiography can also be used for the treatment of the following:

  • Blood clot dissolution using medicines
  • Opened a partially blocked artery by a balloon catheter
  • Placing a stent, which is a small tube, into an artery to keep the artery open
  • Re-routing the blood around the blocked arteries while performing a bypass surgery

What are the causes of abnormal Peripheral Angiography?

An abnormal peripheral angiography report may occur due to the following reasons:

  • Narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build-up in the artery wallsic
  • Presence of a blood clot 
  • Aneurysms (abnormal widening of the artery)
  • Blood vessel inflammation or injury
  • Buerger disease (a condition that occurs due to the swelling and inflammation of a small blood vessel)
  • Takayasu disease (inflammatory condition of large arteries, such as the aorta, which is the main artery of the heart) ( Know more about- What is Cardioversion? )

What are the symptoms indicating the need for a Peripheral Angiography?

People showing the following symptoms may require a peripheral angiography:

  • Pain in the legs or arms ( Know more about- Tingling Causes in Hands and Feet )
  • Shiny skin on the feet or legs
  • Loss of hair on the legs
  • Cold skin
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Gangrene (dead tissue due to a lack of flow of blood)
  • Weakness or numbness in the limbs
  • Pain on resting
  • Reddish-blue color seen in the extremities
  • Opaque, thick toenails
  • Trouble in moving around

What is the diagnostic procedure before a Peripheral Angiography?

  • Physical examination: The doctor will assess the overall physical health of the patient, and look for signs of peripheral artery disease, which may indicate the need for a peripheral angiography.
  • Ankle-brachial index pressure: This is a rapid, non-invasive test done to diagnose peripheral artery disease.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography and CT angiography: These are imaging tests done to diagnose blood vessel abnormalities.
  • Doppler and ultrasound imaging: This test uses high-frequency sound waves to estimate the flow of blood through the blood vessels.

How to prepare for Peripheral Angiography?

  • Your doctor should be informed about any medical conditions that you may be having.
  • Tell your doctor about any medications, herbs, or supplements that you are consuming.
  • If you are sensitive or allergic to any medications, latex, iodine, tape, or anesthetic agents, tell your doctor about the same.
  • If you are pregnant or think that you could be pregnant, tell your doctor about the same.
  • You may be asked to stop taking blood-thinners like warfarin and aspirin a few days before the procedure.
  • Stop smoking at least one day before the procedure.
  • Do not eat or drink anything eight hours before the procedure.

What is the procedure for Peripheral Angiography?

  • The patient is usually given a sedative before the procedure, which helps the patient relax.
  • The groin area, which is usually preferred for catheter (a thin, plastic tube) insertion, is shaved and cleaned.
  • Local anesthesia (used to numb the area of the procedure) is injected into the skin over the artery in the arm or leg region.
  • A needle is later placed into the artery which has been numbed.
  • A catheter is passed through this needle into the artery.
  • This catheter is guided to that part of the body that is being studied.
  • The doctor uses imaging tests to obtain clear pictures of the area.
  • A dye is later injected by the doctor through the catheter, into the arteries.
  • The dye makes the arteries clearly visible on x-rays.
  • The doctor may choose to perform some treatments procedures during a peripheral angiography, which may include:
  • A partially blocked artery may be opened using a balloon
  • A medicine may be injected to dissolve the blood clot
  • Placement of a stent in the artery to help it stay open
  • The catheter is later removed.
  • The procedure takes approximately one to three hours to complete.

How to care after Peripheral Angiography?

  • It is normal for the patient to feel some pressure during the removal of the catheter.
  • Pressure is applied to the catheter removal site for 10 to 20 minutes to stop bleeding.
  • A bandage is put on the wound area.
  • It is normal to have some bleeding and pain at the site of catheter insertion. This normally disappears on its own.
  • The arm or leg where the needle was inserted has to be kept straight for 6 hours after the procedure.
  • Visit your doctor in case you notice:
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding that does not go away
  • Extreme pain in the arm or leg
  • Drink lots of fluids after the procedure. This helps in flushing out the dye from the body and rehydrating the body.
  • The patient can resume having his/her normal diet and medicines six hours after the procedure.
  • Avoid strenuous activities for two days after the procedure.
  • Do not drive for at least two days after the procedure.

What are the risks of Peripheral Angiography?

The complications associated with peripheral angiography include:

  • Allergy to the contrast dye used
  • Blood vessel damage at the point of needle and catheter insertion ( Know more about- What is Mitral Valve Surgery? )
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clot formation 
  • Heart attack ( Know more about- What is Heart Attack? )
  • Stroke (a condition in which the blood supply to the brain is interrupted)
  • Hematoma (a condition in which blood gets collected at the needle puncture site)
  • Kidney damage  ( Know more about- What is Kidney Transplant? )
  • Nerve injury at the site of needle puncture
  • Injury to the arteries that are being tested
  • Limb loss

What is the cost of Peripheral Angiography in India?

The total cost of peripheral angiography in India can range from around INR 70,000 to INR 1,30,000. However, many prominent hospital doctors in India specialize in peripheral angiography. But the cost varies across different hospitals.

If you are coming from abroad, apart from the cost of peripheral angiography, there will be an additional cost of living in a hotel and the cost of local travel. After the procedure, the patient is kept for one day in the hospital and seven days in the hotel for recovery. So, the total cost of peripheral angiography in India comes from a total of INR 91,000 to INR 1,70,000. 

We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding peripheral angiography through this article.

If you need more information about peripheral angiography, you can contact a Cardiovascular Surgeon.

We only aim to provide you with information through this article. We do not recommend any medication or treatment to anyone. Only a qualified doctor can give you the best advice and correct treatment plan. 

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