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Arteriogram of Carotid Arteries

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What do I need to know about an arteriogram of my carotid arteries?

An arteriogram, or angiogram, is a test that finds narrow or blocked arteries in your neck. X-rays and contrast liquid help your healthcare provider see the arteries better. Procedures called angioplasty or stent placement may also be done during an arteriogram. Angioplasty uses a balloon to open blocked or narrow arteries. Stent placement means placing a small wire tube in the blocked artery to keep it open.

Carotid Artery
Atherosclerosis of the Interior Carotid Artery

How do I prepare for an arteriogram?

Your healthcare provider may tell you to not eat or drink 4 to 8 hours before your procedure. You may be asked to remove jewelry, dentures and dental bridges, and metal objects. These items may cause problems with the x-ray pictures. Arrange to have someone drive you home. If you get medicine to help you relax, you should not drive for 24 hours after your procedure.

What will happen during an arteriogram?

A sedative will be given to decrease your anxiety and help you relax. A local anesthetic is given in your groin where a puncture will be made. Your healthcare provider will make a puncture and place a small catheter (long, thin tube) into an artery. The catheter is slowly moved up into your neck. Contrast liquid is injected into the catheter to reach the area. You may feel burning or warmth as the contrast liquid is put into the catheter. Several x-rays are taken to help healthcare providers see your carotid arteries clearly.

What will happen after an arteriogram?

You will go to a recovery room with the catheter in place. A nurse or other healthcare professional will remove the catheter. Strong pressure will be applied at your puncture site to manage bleeding. You will need to lay flat on your back and not raise your head for a period of time.

What are the risks of an arteriogram?

You may have a stroke or heart attack that could be life-threatening. You may have an allergic reaction to the contrast liquid used. Rarely, the catheter may damage the artery.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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