Angiography | Diverticulitis Testing for Bleeding Diverticulum PDF Print E-mail

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An angiography or arteriogram is a procedure the doctor may choose us use for testing if there is any rectal bleeding.

Angiography involves inserting a tiny tube through an artery in the leg, and moving it up into one of the major arteries of the gastrointestinal system. A dye which will show up on x-ray films is injected, and the area of bleeding is located by looking for an area where the contrast is leaking into the interior of the intestine.

Test Description
The test is usually performed in a doctor’s office or medical lab. To begin you will be asked to lie flat and a dye, called contrast material, is injected into your blood stream. X-rays will be taken to see how the dye flows through your arteries. The test can be used to determine if there are any blocked or damage arteries.

Test Preparation
As with other testing for diverticulitis there isn’t much preparation you will need to do prior.  Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain drugs that may affect the test. And in some cases, you might not be able to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the test, but please check with your provider first.

What To Expect During the Exam
You may have some discomfort from a needle stick. Depending upon the type of arteriogram being performed, you may have a variety of symptoms when the doctor injects the contrast material. For example, those who have a cerebral arteriogram may feel a brief flushing across the head.
If you had an IV put into your groin area, you will usually be asked to lie flat on your back for a few hours after the test to avoid bleeding. This could cause some back discomfort

Purpose of Test
To help locate the source of bleeding in the intestines or abdominal cavity. An arteriogram is done to see how blood moves through the arteries, and to check for a blockage. Sometimes, treatments can be done at the same time as an arteriogram.

Test Results
          Intestinal lining show healthy tissue with no source of bleeding.
          Anything out of the ordinary will be generally caught right away.  The main focus will be on any bleeding, or possible
          perforations, diverticular pockets, or infections.  Other intestinal conditions may be found also.

The risks for this procedure depend on the type of arteriogram performed. You should ask your doctor about the risks before you agree to have the test performed.
   In general, risks may include:

  • Bleed, infection, and pain where the needle and IV (intravenous) line were placed
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Blood clots
  • Allergic reaction to the dye used
  • Damage to the kidneys from the dye used (higher risk in those with diabetes)
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